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Committee of publication. 


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jttasssadmsetts historical Society 

Founded 1791 


October, 1909 — -June, 1910 

Volume XLIII 

^uoltafjeb at tfje Cfjarse of tfje OTateraton Jfunbs; 




John Wilson and Son, Cambridge. 


This volume contains the proceedings of nine stated 
meetings of the Society, October, 1909, to June, 1910, or 
one year's activity. 

Among the many subjects treated at these meetings 
may be mentioned the following as the more important : 

National : The address made by John Quincy Adams 
in 1811, before the Society, on the Opium War, the 
manuscript of which was only recently discovered among 
the papers of Dr. Palfrey ; the description by Henry 
Adams, of the situation in Washington in the winter of 
1860-61, a paper prepared at the time when the writer 
was acting as secretary to his father, Charles Francis 
Adams ; the paper by the President on the neglect of 
Washington to use cavalry in the War of Independence ; 
an examination of Thomas Paine' s alleged connection 
with the framing of the Declaration of Independence, by 
Albert Matthews ; Mr. Horace Davis's account of 
the Oregon Trail, and Col. W. R. Livermore's description 
of the "Campaign Around Vicksburg." Of original 
documents: The two broadsides on "Old Tenor," de- 
scribed by Mr. A. B. Page; the correspondence between 


Polk and Bancroft on the Mecklenburg Declaration, 1775, 
and on the Annexation of Texas, 1848; the letter of 
Artemas Ward on the events before Boston, 1775; the 
first draft of Hamilton's report on the " Constitutionality 
of a National Bank;" the letters of Seth Rogers, 1862-63 ; 
and political letters from Samuel Adams, Francis Corbin, 
Isaac Hill, and William B. Lewis. 

Massachusetts : The identification, by Mr. A. McF. 
Davis, of two writers in the currency controversy ; the 
" Massachusetts and New Hampshire Boundary Line 
Dispute," by Mr. J. Smith ; the paper on the " American 
Board of Commissioners of Customs," by Prof. Channing, 
and on the " Loss of the Custom House Records of 
Boston," by Mr. Warren. Of original material : The 
document touching John White's Dorchester venture at 
Cape Ann; the series of letters on the Defense of the 
Frontier, 1694-95; and letters of John Hancock, James 
Otis, and Charles Stuart. 

Col. W. R. Livermore's essay on " Comparative His- 
tory of Western Nations," has a more general application. 

Pertaining to Literary History : A poem by John 
Quincy Adams ; a quotation from Thoreau, traced to 
Confucius, by the President; an account of William 
Ellery Channing and John Brown, by Mr. Sanborn, and 
a note on Crevecoeur, by the same writer. The two 
series of letters, one from Noah Webster and the second 
to Joseph Willard, president of Harvard College, belong 
to this class of material. The critical notes on portraits 
by Mr. Hart, Prof. Wendell, and Mr. Bradish are 


valuable, correcting misapprehensions liable to pass into 
accepted facts. 

The Society: Memoirs of four deceased members, as 
follows : Theodore Ayrault Dodge, by Col. T. L. Liver- 
more ; William Phineas Upham, by Mr. Rantoul ; 
James Madison Barker, by Governor Long, and Egbert 
Coffin Smyth, by Mr. Starwood. Of more immediate 
relation to the Society are the proceedings in connection 
with Dr. Green's fiftieth anniversary of his entrance into 
the Society ; the alteration of the By-Laws affecting the 
office of Editor, and the annual reports of the various 
officers and committees. The statement by the Treasurer 
of the funds of the Society is made on a new plan and in 
greater detail than in former years. One volume of the 
collections was issued in the year. 

The Society has received in the past year, by gift or 
on deposit, an unusual number of manuscript records of 
which mention will be found in the stated meetings. 
Recognizing its responsibilities as keeper of the records 
given to it, the Society has employed a recognized expert 
to repair and bind its manuscript material, that they 
may be placed in a condition for study and consultation 
without incurring the risk of loss or damage. 

Chaeles Francis Adams, 
Edward Stanwood, 
James Ford Rhodes, 
worthington chauncey ford, 
Boston, September 10, 1910. 



Preface v 

List of Illustrations xiii 

Officers elected April 14, 1910 xv 

Members, Resident . xvi 

Honorary and Corresponding xviii 

Deceased xx 


Tributes to Edward Everett Hale, by the President ... 1 

Dr. DeNormandie ... 4 

Tribute to John Noble, by W. Warren 16 

Oregon trail, by Horace Davis 19 

Two New Hampshire libraries, 1785, by Mr. Sanborn . . 33 
Davenport-Paget controvers} T , 1634-35, communicated by 

Mr. Ford 45 

Letter of Isaac Hill, 1828 69 

Frederick S. Blount, 1831 73 


Massachusetts and New Hampshire Boundary Line Con- 
troversy, 1693-1740, by J. Smith 77 

Count Arese's visit to Boston, 1837, by Mr. Thayer ... 88 

Colonel William Prescott ; and Groton Soldiers at the Battle 

of Bunker Hill, by Dr. Green 92 

Alleged portrait of John Wilson, communicated by Mr. 

Norcross 100 



Bancroft papers on the Mecklenburg Declaration, 1775, and 
on the Annexation of Texas, 1848, communicated by 
Mr. Howe 101 

Letters of Noah Webster, 1785-1840, communicated by 


Constitutionality of a National Bank, 1791, by Hamilton, 

communicated by Mr. Ford 156 


Tributes to Charles Gross, by the President 182 

Mr. Emerton 189 

Tribute to Henry Charles Lea, by Mr. Haskins 183 

Letter of Lords Committee on Trade and Plantations, 1703, 

communicated by Mr. Norcross 191 

Vassall tomb, Cambridge, by Col. T. W. Higginson . . . 192 
Letters of John Hancock, 1760-61, communicated by Mr. 

Greenough 193 

Smibert's portraits of Captain John Gerrish, and Jacob 

Wendell, communicated by Mr. Wendell .... 200 

Foundation wall of a college building, Cambridge, by Mr. Lane 201 

Letters of James Otis, 1764-65, communicated by Mr. Ford. 202 

Memoir of Theodore Ayrault Dodge, by T. L. Livermore . 208 


Dr. Green's fifty }-ears of membership, by the President . . 222 

Dr. Green's remarks 227 

Campaign around Vicksburg, 1862, by W. R. Livermore . . 233 

Verses by John Quincy Adams, by Mr. Howe 237 

Thomas Paine and the Declaration of Independence, b} T 

Mr. Matthews 241 

Supposed miniature of Cromwell, by C. H. Hart 253 

Broadsides on " Old Tenor," 1751, communicated by Mr. Ford 255 
Letter of Francis Corbin, on Slavery in Virginia, 1819, com- 
municated b} r Mr. Ford 260 

Memoir of William Phineas Upham, by Mr. Rantoul . . . 266 



Quater-Centenary festivities at Geneva, by Mr. Hart . . . 283 

William Ellery Channing and John Brown, by Mr. Sanborn . 290 
Address by John Quincy Adams, 1841, on the Opium War, 

communicated for the President 295 

Letter of Caleb Gushing, 1847, communicated by J. Smith . 326 
Correspondence of Samuel Adams and Samuel Phillips Savage, 

1776-85, presented by Mr. Shaw . 327 

War letters of Dr. Seth Rogers, 1862-63, communicated by 

Col. T. W. Higginson 337 

Memoir of James Madison Barker, by Gov. Long .... 399 

Memoir of Egbert Coffin Smyth, by Mr. Stanwood . . . . 402 


Tributes to William Everett : 

by Dr. Green 413 

Dr. McKenzie ............. 414 

Mr. Quincy 417 

Mr. Schouler 418 

Loss of Boston Customs Records, 1776, by W. Warren . . 423 
Currency pamphlets of John Valentine and Hugh Vans, by 

Mr. Davis 428 

Errors in the Harvard Triennial, by Dr. Green 447 

Charles Stuart and James Murray letters, 1766-72, communi- 
cated by Mr. Ford 449 

Bigelow manuscripts, communicated by Mr. Ford .... 458 


Report of the Council 460 

Librarian 464 

Cabinet-Keeper 465 

Committee on the Library and Cabinet . . . 467 

Officers elected 472 

From Thoreau to Confucius, via Abingdon, Virginia, by the 

President 473 



American Board of Commissioners of Customs, b} r Prof. 

Ciianmm; 477 

Judge Se wall's gift of a pike-staff to the Artillery Compaq, 

by Dr. Grbsm 491 

Letter of James Otis, 17G8, communicated by Mr. Norcross . 492 

Dorchester Company at Cape Anne, 1G35, communicated by 

Mr. Ford 493 

Letter of William B. Lewis, 1839, communicated try Mr. Ford 496 

Letter of Frederic L. Gay, on Cotton's Farewell Sermon, com- 
municated by Mr. Ford 503 

Letters, 1694-95, on the defence of the frontier, communi- 
cated by Mr. Greenough 504 

Annual Report of the Treasurer 520 

Funds of the Society 529 


Report on the amendment to the By-Laws relating to the 

Editor 545 

Cavalry in the War of Independence, by the President . . 547 

Comparative history of western nations, b} r W. R. Livermore 593 
Joseph Willard letters, 1781-1822, communicated by Mr. 

Norcross, and annotated b} r Mr. Lane 609 

Samuel Phillips Savage papers, 1703-1759, communicated by 

Mr. Ford 646 

Letter from the Massachusetts Delegates in Congress, 1800 . 652 


Great Secession Winter of 1860-61, by Henry Adams. 

History of the Manuscript, by the President .... 656 

Paper . . . 660 

More about St. John de Crevecceur, by Mr. Sanborn . . . 687 

Donors to tiie Library 691 

Index 697 



Porteait OF John Elliot Sanford Frontispiece 

Map showing the Oregon Trail, after Preuss, 1848 . . 19 


1634 48 

Titlepage, J. Davenport's " Protestation," 1635 .... 64 
Signatures of the Lords Committee on Trade and Plan- 
tations, 1703 192 

Portrait of Theodore Ayrault Dodge ....... 208 

Broadsides: Mournful Lamentation, 1751 256 

Proclamation by S. Phips, 1751 . . . . . 258 

Portrait of William Phineas Upham 266 

Portrait of James Madison Barker 399 

Portrait of Egbert Coffin Smyth 402 

Signatures: John Pynchon, 1694 506 

John Thacher, 1694 508 

Frances Hooke, 1694 510 

Nathaniel Saltonstall, Daniel Peirce, and 

Dudley Bradstreet, 1695 511 

Thomas Hinchman, 1695 512 

Charles Frost, 1695 516 

Maps on Comparative History of Western Nations . . 594-603 

Autograph of Thomas Chubb, 1745 649 




Sk;nattkks or Massa< hi setts Delegates in C0NGRE8B, 1800: 
I'.in.iamin Goodhue, Samuel Dexter, Jit, Theodore 
Sedgwick, Samuel Sewall, Silas Lee, George 
Thatcher, Bailey Bartlett, John Reed, Dwight 
Foster, Samuel Lyman, Harrison Gray Otis, Samuel 
Williams, William Suepard, and Peleg Wadsworth 654 




Elected Apkil 14, 1910. 





|{ecoibmg i^treiarg 

Corrcsportbtng Setwtarg 



Cabinet- jteqitf 



Sternberg at |£arge of % Council 








Hon. Samuel Abbott Green, LL.D. 

Josiali Phillips Quincy, A.M. 

Charles Card Smith, A.M. 

Abner Cheney Goodell, A.M. 

Hon. Winslow Warren, LL.B. 
Charles William Eliot, LL.D. 

Charles Francis Adams, LL.D. 

Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, LL.D. 

John Torrey Morse, Jr., A.B. 

Gamaliel Bradford, A.B. 

Henry Williamson Ilaynes, A.M. 

Thomas Wentworth Iligginson, LL.D. 

Rev. Henry Fitch Jenks, A.M. 
Ki-v. Alexander MeKenzie, D.D. 

Arthur Lord. A.B. 
Frederic Ward Putnam, S.I). 
James McKellar Bugbee, Esq. 


Edward Channing, Ph.D. 

William Watson Goodwin, D.C.L. 

Edwin Pliny Seaver, A.M. 


Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D. 
Thornton Kirkland Lothrop, LL.B. 

Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters, A.M. 
Abbott Lawrence Lowell, LL.D. 

Hon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, LL.D. 
Henry Pickering Walcott, LL.D. 

Hon. Charles Russell Codman, LL.B. 
Barrett Wendell, A.B. 
James Ford Rhodes, LL.D. 


Hon. Edward Francis Johnson, LL.B. 
Rt. Rev. William Lawrence, D.D. 
William Roscoe Thayer, A.M. 

Rev. Morton Dexter, A.M. 
Hon. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, LL.D. 
Hon. William Wallace Crapo, LL.D. 



Hon. Francis Cabot Lowell, A.B. 
Granville Stanley Hall, LL.D. 

Rev. Leveret! Wilson Spring, D.D. 
Col. William Eoscoe Livermore. 
Hon. Richard Olney, LL.D. 
Lncien Carr, A.M. 

Rev. George Angier Gordon, D.D. 
John Chipman Gray, LL.D. 
Rev. James DeXormandie, D.D. 
Andrew McFarland Davis, A.M. 

Archibald Gary Coolidge, Ph.D. 
Charles Pickering Bowditch, A.M. 
Rev. Edward Henry Hall, D.D. 

James Frothingham Hnnnewell, A.M. 
Melville Madison Bigelow, LL.D. 

Thomas Leonard Livermore, A.B. 
Nathaniel Paine, A.M. 
John Osborne Sumner, A.B. 
Arthur Theodore Lyman, A.M. 
Samuel Lothrop Thorndike, A.M. 

Henry Lee Higginson, LL.D. 
Brooks Adams, A.B. 
Grenville Howland Norcross, LL.B. 
Edward Hooker Gilbert, A.B. 


Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, A.B. 
Charles Knowles Bolton, A.B. 
Samuel Savage Shaw, LL.B. 
Ephraim Emerton, Ph.D. 
Waldo Lincoln, A.B. 
Frederic Jesup Stimson, LL.B. 
Edward Stanwood, Litt.D. 
Moorfield Storey, A.M. 


Thomas Minns, Esq. 

Roger Bigelow Merriman, Ph.D. 

Charles Homer Haskins, Ph.D. 

John Davis Long, LL.D. 



Don Gleason Hill, A.M. 
Theodore Clarke Smith, Ph.D. 
Henry Greenleaf Pearson, A.B. 
Bliss Perry, LL.D. 


Edwin Doak Mead, Esq. 

Edward Henry Clement, Litt.D. 

William Endicott, A.M. 

Lindsay Swift, A.B. 

Hon. George Sheldon. 

Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe, A.M. 

Arnold Augustus Rand, Esq. 


Jonathan Smith, A.B. 
Albert Matthews, A.B. 
William Yail Kellen, LL.D. 


Frederic Winthrop, A.B. 
Hon. Robert Samuel Rantoul, LL.B. 
George Lyman Kittredge, LL.D. 
Charles Pelham Greenough, LL.B. 
Henry Ernest Woods, A.M. 


Worthington Chauncey Ford, A.M. 
William Coolidge Lane, A.B. 


Samuel Walker McCall, A.B. 
John Collins Warren, LL.D. 
Harold Murdock, Esq. 
Henry Morton Lovering, A.M. 
Edward Waldo Emerson, M.D. 


Rt. Hon. James Bryce, D.C.L. 


Rt. Hon. Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 
Bart., D.C.L. 


Pasquale Yillari, D.C.L. 


Adolf Harnack, D.D. 

Rt. Hon. Viscount Morley, D.C.L. 


Ernest Lavisse. 


Rear-Admiral Alfred Thayer 
Mahan, D.C.L. 

Henry Adams, LL.D. 

Eduard Meyer, Litt.D. 



Hon. John Bigelow, LL.D. 
Hubert Howe Bancroft, A.M. 


Joseph Florimond Loubat, LL.D. 
Charles Henry Hart, LL.B. 


Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Litt.D. 
Hon. Andrew Dickson White, LL.D. 


Sir James MacPherson LeMoine, 


Rev. Charles Richmond Weld, LL.D. 

Hon. James Burrill Angell, LL.D. 
William Babcock Weeden, A.M. 

Woodrow Wilson, LL.D. 
Hon. Joseph Hodges Choate, D.C.L. 

John Franklin Jameson, LL.D. 

Rev. William Cunningham, LL.D. 



Hon. Simeon Eben Baldwin, LL.D. 
John Bassett Moore, LL.D. 

Frederic Harrison, Litt.D. 
Frederic Bancroft, LL.D. 
Charles Harding Firth, LL.D. 
William James Ashley, M.A. 

John Bach McMaster, LL.D. 
Albert Venn Dicey, LL.D. 
Beuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D. 
John Christopher Schwab, Ph.D. 

Rev. Arthur Blake Ellis, LL.B. 
Auguste Moireau. 
Hon. Horace Davis, LL.D. 

Sidney Lee, LL.D. 
Frederick Jackson Turner, Ph.D. 

"William Archibald Dunning, LL.D. 
James Schouler, LL.D. 
George Parker Winship, A.M. 
Gabriel Hanotaux. 
Hubert Hall. 


Andrew Cunningham McLaugh- 
lin, LL.B. 
Hon. Beekman Winthrop, LL.B. 


Hon. James Phinney Baxter, Litt.D, 
Wilberforce Eames, A.M. 
George Walter Prothero, LL.D. 
Hon. Jean Jules Jusserand, LL.D. 
James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D. 


John Bagnell Bury, LL.D. 
Rafael Altamira y Crevea. 
Hon. James Wilberforce Longley, 

Henry Morse Stephens, A.M. 
Charles Borgeaud, LL.D. 


Lyon Gardiner Tyler, LL.D. 
Clarence Bloomfield Moore, A.B. 

Edward Doubleday Harris, Esq. 


July, 1909— June, 1910. 


187G, Hon. William Everett, LL.D Feb. 16, 1910. 

1896, Col. Theodore Ayrault Dodge Oct. 26, 1909. 

1901, Charles Gross, LL.D Dec. 3, 1909. 


1902, Henry Charles Lea, LL.D Oct. 24, 1909. 

1904, Goldwin Smith, D.C.L June 7, 1910. 


1878, John Austin Stevens, A.B. ... * June 16, 1910. 

1897, ltev. George Park Fisher, LL.D Dec. 20, 1909. 


jHassacJmsettsi Historical ^octet? 



THE stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 14th 
instant, at three o'clock, P. M. ; the President, Charles 
Francis Adams, in the chair. 

The record of the June meeting was read and approved ; 
and the list of donors to the Library since that time was read 
by the Librarian. 

The Cabinet-Keeper reported the gift, by J. Wyeth Coolidge, 
of a lithograph of " Webster addressing the Senate, March 7, 
1850 " ; and the gift, by the Prince Society, of a photogra- 
vure of William Blathwayt, engraved from a portrait of Sir 
Godfrey Kneller. 

The Corresponding Secretary reported that William C. 
Lane, of Cambridge, had accepted his election as a Resident 
Member, and Clarence B. Moore, of Philadelphia, as a Corre- 
sponding Member. 

The President reported for the Council the following 
assignments to prepare memoirs : Mr. Rantoul, that of William 
P. Upham ; Dr. Everett, of John Noble; Mr. Stanwood, of 
Egbert C. Smyth; and Dr. DeNormandie, of Dr. Edward 
E. Hale. 

The President then said : 

Once more it is my privilege, as well as duty, to welcome 
the Society back to another year of renewed and, it is to be 
hoped, of enlarged activities. 

At our last meeting, that of June 10, it will be remembered, 
it was already known that two names had in the early hours 
of that very day been stricken from our rolls. Edward Everett 



Hale and John Noble had both passed away. A formal an- 
nouncement of the fact was, however, necessarily deferred. 
In now making the customary announcement, I shall, in con- 
formity with the established usage, confine myself, as respects 
both, strictly to their connection with the Society, and their 
activities as members of it. 

And in the first place, of Dr. Hale. Edward Everett Hale 
was, at the time of his death, not only the last survivor of his 
( lass, having been graduated at Harvard seventy years before, 
but, elected a Resident Member of this Society at the meeting 
of January 10, 1861, his name, as respects seniority, stood sec- 
ond on our roll, a place it had held since the decease of Charles 
Eliot Norton, less than a year before. His connection with the 
Society, therefore, covered a period of no less than forty-eight 
years, during which his name constantly and in many connec- 
tions appears in our records. The entries relating to him in 
the indexes of no less than thirty-seven of our forty-two vol- 
umes of Proceedings are, indeed, so numerous that any de- 
tailed enumeration of them here would be out of place from 
its excess. During his long membership he served on many 
committees ; he prepared numerous memoirs ; and it devolved 
on him to pay tributes, always characteristic as well as eloquent 
and impressive, to many of our members who had gone before. 
The last meeting he attended was that of October 8, exactly a 
year ago. He then contributed remarks on John White, as 
" the founder of Massachusetts," and referred also to the im- 
pending Milton tercentenary. To the next meeting, that of 
November, though personally absent from it, he sent a feeling 
tribute to his life-long friend, Charles Eliot Norton. 

It is quite needless for me to add that Dr. Hale's impressive 
personality will long be missed at the meetings of this Society, 
no less than in the Boston community at large, in which he 
had taken such active part for more than forty years, and of 
which as a community his recollections were vivid and personal 
to the extreme limit of time within the memory of any now 
living. He has himself recorded them in that volume of his 
collected writings entitled " A New England Boyhood." 

Mr. Noble's connection with the Society was much more 
recent, dating only from the meeting of March, 1899. Yet it 
is a fact suggestive of the rapidity with which even this Society 
undergoes mutation that, when he died with the eleventh year 


of his membership hardly begun, his name stood fifty-second, or 
half-way up on the roll. More than a merely elderly man when 
elected, his contributions to our Proceedings were not infre- 
quent, though he never served upon any committee, nor as a 
member of the Council. Erudite papers of his, valuable from 
an historical point of view, will be found scattered through 
our printed Proceedings, generally derived from his intimate 
knowledge of the vast mass of raw historical material buried 
in the records of the Supreme Judicial Court. As examples, 
I would especially refer to the paper entitled " A Glance at 
Suicide as dealt with in the Colony and Province of Massa- 
chusetts Bay," contributed at the December meeting, 1902 ; 
and to the paper on " Legislation in regard to Highway Rob- 
bery in Massachusetts," read at the March meeting, 1905. He 
also contributed a memoir of the late Chief-Justice Walbridge 
A. Field. Those of Mr. Justice Barker and William P. Upham 
were also assigned to him ; but he did not live to complete 
them. The last meeting of the Society at which Mr. Noble 
was present was that of March, 1907. 

Passing to other matters, 1 have merely to report that, since 
the June meeting, the work of the Society has gone on steadily 
along the accustomed lines. The General Index of the second 
series of Proceedings has at last been finished, and the volume 
containing it is now upon the table. An additional volume of 
the Proceedings, the second of the third series, and the forty- 
second in regular sequence, is nearly ready for distribution. 
Another volume of an exceptional character, entitled " John 
Foster, the Earliest American Engraver and the First Boston 
Printer," prepared by Dr. Green, has also been printed as a 
publication charged to the " Waterston Fund, No. 2." Though 
in no respect uniform with any of the serial publications of the 
Society, it is one for which the Society has paid, and is in so 
far responsible. Copies of it, accordingly, have been sent to 
the members. The work on the contemplated final and mon- 
umental editions of the Bradford and Winthrop Histories has 
gone forward ; steps have also been taken looking to the early 
publication of the Mather Diaries by this Society in collabora- 
tion with the American Antiquarian Society. 

My own absence in Europe during the larger portion of the 
time since the June meeting and my return only two da} T s ago, 
hardly in time to participate in this meeting, have prevented 


my making careful preparation, and entering into a more de- 
tailed account of what has been accomplished during the va- 
cation months. I will merely say that measures have been 
taken toward effecting a better housing of our valuable library 
and collections, and the arrangement of our books and material 
so as to render these possessions more accessible to the public 
as well as to members. 

I now call upon Dr. DeNormandie for a characterization 
of Dr. Hale, and a tribute to the memory of one with whom 
he was long and closely associated, workers in a common field. 

Dr. DeNormandie paid the following tribute to Dr. Hale : 

Edward Everett Hale was the great humanitarian of our 
land and our day. He was born in Boston, April 3, 1822, 
and never wearied of talking of Boston as it was in his boy- 
hood. He was Boston through and through ; he loved every- 
thing about it, but he was also most cosmopolitan, and, as he 
once said to me, he was glad to be in Washington, where 
Massachusetts was rarely mentioned and seemed of very little 

He was the son of Nathan Hale, and was a grand-nephew 
of the Nathan Hale hanged as a spy by the British in 1776. 
His father was a journalist, one of the editors of the " Boston 
Weekly Messenger," the first weekly periodical devoted to 
politics and literature published in the United States. In 1814 
he purchased the " Boston Daily Advertiser," for many years 
the only daily paper in Boston. He was one of a club that 
founded the " North American Review " in 1815 and the 
"Christian Examiner" in 1823. 

Young Hale was a journalist from childhood. He had been 
through every department of a newspaper office, and was al- 
ways more or less closely connected with the press until a 
fortnight before he died. He says of himself he was cradled 
in the sheets of his father's Boston Daily, which led Samuel 
Bowles of the " Springfield Republican " to say " they had only 
one good journalist in all Boston, and they were spoiling him 
in the pulpit." 

When very young, he went to a dame school ; at nine, en- 
tered the Boston Latin School a year in advance because he 
had already studied Latin ; and graduated from Harvard at 
seventeen. For two years he was usher in the Boston Latin 


School, and at the same time read church history and theology 
with Dis. Lothrop and Palfrey ; and in 1842 was licensed by 
the Boston Association of Ministers to preach, which he did at 
various places, among others at Washington in the winter of 
1844-45 ; and in 1846 began his first settled pastorate at the 
Church of the Unity in Worcester, which lasted for ten years. 
Here began his life-long friendship with Senator Hoar. Here 
at once began that life-long interest in everything which per- 
tained to the welfare of the community in which he lived, or 
of that wider fellowship of humanity for which he always 

When he was asked to serve on the School Committee, he 
said he would rather serve on the Overseers of the Poor. On 
this board he became interested in the pauper question, in all 
immigrant matters, in making plans for immigration to Kan- 
sas ; and went all over New England lecturing about Kansas 
and the way to it. It was at Worcester that Mr. Hale's pub- 
lic literary career really began. He wrote prize papers 
wherever publications offered prizes, and often got them ; 
papers on " The Old and the New, face to face," and " The 
Organization of Emigration " ; and here too he wrote his first 
book, " The Rosary," published in 1848. 

It was from Worcester that he went to Hartford, October 
13, 1852, to marry Emily Baldwin Perkins, a granddaughter 
of Lyman Beecher and a niece of Henry Ward Beecher and 
Harriet Beecher Stowe ; and the wedding journey was in a 
horse and chaise. And I rather think that at Worcester he 
spent more time upon his sermons than he ever did afterwards, 
when every literary, philanthropical, theological, political, or 
religious question engaged his attention, for he told me once 
that whenever he wanted a good sermon in his later ministry 
he took one he had written in Worcester, and added to or 
changed it as he went along. He always had a happy faculty- 
of wandering off from his manuscript and bringing in just 
what he pleased, and sometimes seemed to disregard his man- 
uscript altogether. 

In 1856 he came to the South Congregational Church in 
Boston, then on Washington Street. Here began a wonder- 
fully prosperous ministry of wide influence. Soon after, a 
larore church was built on Union Park Street and a qreat con- 
gregation gathered. The church was filled ; the music was 


most attractive; the vesper service was crowded. Dr. Hale 
was perhaps at that time the most influential clergyman IB 
Boston. lie was a preacher of great personal enthusiasm and 
magnetism. He touched upon every subject which concerned 
human welfare; his voice was heard at every meeting which 
had any philanthropical purpose ; he had a new plan almost 
daily for some social betterment. As a lecturer he was going 
all over New England ; as a writer it seems as if he had an ar- 
ticle almost every day in some paper or magazine. Strange to 
say, he took no very active interest in the anti-slavery move- 
ment, which was then just culminating in angry and brilliant 
discussions under the lead of Garrison, Phillips, Samuel J. 
May, and all those sturdy defenders of the cause ; threatening 
serious divisions to many churches, and hurrying the country 
on to its tremendous civil conflict. 

When some one asked him how he could do so many things, 
he replied that he never did anything himself if he could find 
any one to do it for him. Of remarkable physical vigor and 
earnestness himself, he delighted to set others at work, and 
always had manifold interests with which to enlist them. He 
had published u My Double or how he undid me," " The Man 
without a Country," two of his best writings, which had 
immense popularity, and aroused much enthusiasm and admi- 
ration among the young men ; and his name and fame were 
rapidly spreading over the whole land. Occasionally, during 
the awful days of the Rebellion, he rose to wonderful heights of 
eloquence. His personality was always most remarkable and 
attractive. He had a great faculty of drawing others to him 
and arousing them to do something, and a great gift for friend- 
ship. His conversation was always animated, full of interest- 
ing Boston reminiscences. In his earlier ministry he was 
more like the rugged John the Baptist calling the people to 
repentance ; in his later preaching he always reminded me of 
one of the prophets arousing the people to righteousness ; or 
like the venerable Apostle John in Patmos, who stretched forth 
his hand and said, " Little children love one another," which 
was for him the essence and sum of religion, so Dr. Hale with 
endless repetition kept saying, " We are the children of God," 
" God's Kingdom must be here." In 1862 he came to give 
me the charge at my ordination over the South Parish in 
Portsmouth. I remember the great amusement he created 


among those who knew him so well and the manifold tasks 
he was undertaking, when he charged me not to attempt many 
things, and to remember that when Paul says he can do all 
things, he does not mean that he or you or anybody can do all 
things at once, he only does one thing at one time and another 
at another ; and you have no right to take your time from the 
activities which belong to this parish, to attend to any of the 
outside things which before a month you will be asked to do ; 
and the ministers all said, " Dr. Hale knows full well how to 
give such advice, for it is just contrary to what he is doing all 
the time." 

The first thing which always impressed me about Dr. Hale 
was his remarkable physical vitality, so that, never feeling the 
limitations of weakness or illness which hinder so many, he 
was enabled to do far more than most persons. I heard him 
tell a young man one evening in his home to be very sure and 
sleep well and long. " I always take ten hours," he said, " and 
eat well, I take five meals a day " ; and Mrs. Hale, gently inter- 
rupting, said "Edward, where do you get the other two?" 
But this restless activity was strictly under the guidance and 
guard of what Socrates would have called his daemon or good 
spirit of God. It was this physical vigor which rendered his 
intellectual activity so untiring : the books he wrote, the 
articles he sent to magazines and periodicals of every kind, 
the myriads of letters, the countless addresses he gave upon 
subjects as countless, are beyond the comprehension of most of 
us, but pervading them all was this unfailing interest in 
humanity. His desire to help humanity, to bring in the King- 
dom of God, was a consuming flame which glowed ever deeper 
and brighter by what it fed upon. There have been great 
philanthropists who have spent their lives in some one great 
benefaction to their race, but with Dr. Hale it ran into every 
sphere of human welfare, and in a measure lost itself in mis- 
cellaneous advocacy of everything, rather than strengthened 
itself in one continuous effort for one great aim. His plans 
may often have seemed impractical, impossible, — all great 
philanthropies have seemed so at the time to others bound fast 
to traditional customs and ideas, and timid as to any change 
or reformation, — but Dr. Hale announced and pleaded for 
human welfare with the ringing voice of the old prophets ; it 
was in everything and at all times a cry for righteousness. It 


was the emphasis and application of the true religious spirit 
upon everything. Righteousness was so real to him, so filled 
his being, that he created and left behind him everywhere an 
atmosphere of the reality of religion. And what he so loudly 
and persistently called out for, that he was. He was ready to 
help as w ell as to preach. No stress of weather, no press of 
duties, no advancing rheumatism could prevent him from look- 
ing up any call of distress, or taking any rest until he gave or 
found some one to give aid and relief. He loved the world 
intensely and everything in the world, but there was no touch 
of worldliness in that love. 

There are many ministers who give to religion and worship 
a most businesslike air; their activities maybe well meant, 
genuine, and healthful, and stirring, but they are so loudly and 
persistently thrust upon you that you weary of them and are 
repelled, and long for the quiet religion of the Master who 
did not strive nor cry, nor cause his voice to be heard in the 
streets. There are others who give you a feeling of wide and 
fashionable popularity, but with whom there is an undertone 
of worldliness, which suggests utter scepticism or ignorance 
about the deep things of the spirit. There are others who 
have what is called eloquence, which is often mere loquacity ; 
you are surprised or pleased for a while with their language, 
figures, manner, and yet when it is over it is all over and 
there remains no sweet atmosphere of the spirit, which you 
cannot help breathing, and breathing cannot help feeling that 
the unseen things are eternal. There were none of these 
qualities about Dr. Hale. He always gave you the impres- 
sion of being in dead earnest, and all trivial things were put 
out of sight. There was not a trace of the ascetic, the ritual- 
istic, the ceremonial, or the priestly type of religion which 
has so dominated and debased religion about our preacher of 
righteousness ; nothing of dress or voice which made his office 
prominent. He did not need any of these, he was above them 
all, but his whole being gave the impression that here was one 
to whom the things of the spirit were first, familiar, constant. 
When a man of affairs came to Faraday and pressed him to 
undertake researches which might result in large financial ad- 
vantage to him, the devoted student of science replied, "I 
have no time to make money" : he was after the great truths 
of the universe. So Dr. Hale had no faculty for managing 


financial matters. Fortunately he had a devoted parish, which 
was always ready, able, and glad to manage these things for 
him. How glorious are the lives of those who have given 
themselves to science, art, literature, education, philanthropy, 
religion, righteousness, to the Kingdom of God, all unmindful 
whether the comforts of the world came or went! 

With the exception of Dr. Bellows he was the most ardent, 
enthusiastic, ceaseless proclaimer and defender of the views 
and fellowship of Unitarians they have ever had. He was 
always insisting that a Unitarian church in a town meant 
better work, more comforts of civilization, a higher moral 
tone, more interest in the higher education, a better kind of 
charity, a finer fellowship, a nobler hope, a truer life here, and 
a surer faith hereafter, than where there was no such church ; 
but he was also broad enough to be a conspicuous figure in 
the Church universal, and wherever he was, would go to a 
church of any faith rather than not go at all. 

A lady in my parish once meeting an enthusiastic admirer 
of Dr. Hale in Philadelphia, the latter said to her, " Perhaps 
you have seen and heard that great orthodox preacher Dr. 
Hale." " Oh yes, indeed," was the reply, " he often preaches 
in my church, and I sometimes hear him in his own, but he 
is not an orthodox preacher, for his church is an Unitarian 
church and so is mine." " You must be mistaken," said the 
other. " Why, he is the founder of Lend-a-Hand clubs, In-His- 
Name clubs, and Ten-times-one clubs ; and I know he is an 
orthodox Congregationalism" " But we who have seen and 
heard him all our lives know he is one of the most prominent 
and decided of all Unitarians, and any one in New England 
would be laughed at to think he was anything else," was the 
response. "Alas," was the reply, "one of my idols is gone." 
She could no longer see all that was true or inspiring about 
Dr. Hale if he had not the shibboleth of her creed. 

His literary activity was tremendous and unceasing, partly 
from a ready pen from boyhood, which waited not upon any 
studied expression or careful revision. His books numbered 
between sixty and seventy, and these were a very small part 
of his writings. He read everything, and, like our modern 
way of living, with electrical rapidity, and, like all such 
readers, he remembered a great many things which he never 
read, or which never happened, or which happened at other 


times and places and to other persons, and what he did not 
remember he easily imagined ; and it was all fascinating, 
whether it was actually true or not. 

Of course many of these books are ot little value, they be- 
longed to questions of transient interest ana were soon for- 
gotten ; but some of them, like "In Ilis Name," or "My 
Double and how He Undid Me," or " The Man without a 
Country," are of distinctly literary worth, and will have a 
place for many years to come in American writings. He once 
came to one of our banks, and wanted the cashier to open an 
account with him for a deposit of forty-five cents. The 
cashier told him it was really impossible and against their 
rules to keep so small an account ; but Dr. Hale said, " 1 beg 
you to make an exception, I must have a book opened for 
that amount ; that is the net income of one of my best books." 
The bank has a large portrait of him, and underneath the 
motto he was constantly repeating when he came in, "Here 's 
where we get our daily bread " ; and he got it, whether 
there was always a balance in his favor or not. 

He was always greatly interested in historical matters, with- 
out any very profound idea of the historical method. His indif- 
ference to historical accuracy was something sweet, charming, 
and sublime. There are writers who would be more troubled 
about making an historical error than about some moral 
obliquity. The former would keep them awake at nights, the 
latter not at all. One winter I was giving some sermons on 
the interesting history of my old church in Roxbury, and Dr. 
Hale was always present. After a sermon on Anne Hutchin- 
son, Dr. Hale made his way to my high pulpit as rapidly as he 
could and said, " DeNormandie, where did 3^011 get all those 
things about Anne Hutchinson? Why, I have just been pub- 
lishing a little book about her, and everything is entirely dif- 
ferent from what } r ou have been saying to-night." I replied, 
" You probably wrote your sketch of her as }^ou would write 
a novel, but 1 got my facts from the old historical records." 

Not many weeks after " The Nation " got hold of his book 
about Anne Hutchinson, and treated it in that way of a scathing 
criticism which " The Nation " delights in, closing with the dec- 
laration that " there was nothing from beginning to end in the 
book that was historically true." Meeting Dr. Hale a few 
days later, I was wicked enough to ask him if he had seen 


the last copy of " The Nation." " The Nation, The Nation ! " 
he exclaimed. "I regard it as the most immoral publication 
in the United States. I wouldn't have it in my home." 

Dr. Hale's home was typical of the finest New England cul- 
ture and life, joined with literary brilliancy, a pervading sense 
of humor, and an atmosphere of happy devotion. Mrs. Hale 
was a Beecher, her mother, Mrs. Perkins, being a sister of 
Henry Ward and of Harriet Beecher Stowe. The Beechers 
could pardon almost everything in one more easily than dull- 
ness. It was told of old Dr. Lyman Beecher that in his last 
illness, while he had always been noted for being cheerful and 
hopeful, he was found one day looking very sad and discouraged. 
"What is troubling you, brother Beecher?" said a friend. 
" Oh," said the old man, "I was only wishing that I had been 
different in one thing all my life." " Why, what have you 
done or not done that you could wish otherwise?" "Well," 
said Beecher, " I was wishing I had been more patient with 
all the fools I have met." 

One day Mrs. Perkins greeted me with a hearty welcome. 
" I am so glad you have come, I want a long talk with you 
about the devil. The Beechers, you know, have all given up 
the devil. Ward did not believe in him, though he referred 
to him sometimes, because it was convenient in conversation. 
I don't believe in him, but there seems to be so much more 
of the devil than when I was a girl that I don't know where 
it all comes from. Ward, you know," she said, " did not 
believe a great many things we were all brought up to be- 
lieve. He did n't believe in the perseverance of the saints ; 
he said he had to give it up when he found out what all the 
saints in Plvmouth Church used to do as soon as they got out 

You can imagine what an attractive home it was when you 
joined the traits of the Beechers with the traits of the Hales. 
The home was full of all new books, everybody read them ; 
conversation at once turned upon the last novel, or the last 
researches in science, or the ever-present subject of the 
changes in theology, or any new phase of social or political 

Never was there a more fitting tribute paid to an octogena- 
rian than when Dr. Hale, feeling that he ought to give up 
the active duties of the ministry, through the efforts of his 


life-long Friend, Senator Hoar, was elected Chaplain of the 

United States Senate. He had preached in Washington in 
1844, and he said for sixty years he had hardly missed a winter 
in being there a longer or shorter time. So lie felt he knew 
Washington, and he liked it, and took up the duties of his 
new oilice with a keen enjoyment. Intensely fond of Boston 
and New England as he was, he told me it "did him much 
good to be where Massachusetts did not count for more than 
one forty-sixth of the country and was not often mentioned at 
that." Those who have been at the opening of the sessions 
of the Senate years ago must have noticed the indifferent, per- 
functory, and really disgraceful way in which the opening 
service was performed. I used to wish it were abolished, ii 
for nothing else for the sake of not disgracing a public recog- 
nition of religion. When Dr. Hale became Chaplain, all that 
was changed. He brought the service within the appointed 
time, but he made it varied, dignified, reverential, impressive. 
There had never been anything like it in the Senate. Sena- 
tors for the first time felt there was some meaning, some rev- 
erence, some reality, some lesson in the service. Before, the 
Chaplain occupied his four minutes with an unpremeditated, 
undevout prayer, which had no reference to anything in the 
heavens above or the earth beneath, no serious word for the 
company gathered to conduct the affairs of a great nation. 
Dr. Hale, with his Genevan gown, which betokened not the 
priest, but the prophet, the scholar, the preacher, rose and 
repeated in his heavy, gruff, stentorian way, two or three 
verses from some of those marvellous expressions of the 
Hebrew prophets, true for to-day as for Israel of old, offered a 
few words of prayer which had a direct and impressive appeal 
to the work before the senators, and asked all to join in the 
Lord's Prayer. It was all so simple, so brief, so real, that it 
was like a revelation to the Senate Chamber. The prayer 
became a marked feature of the proceedings, attracted many 
hearers, — senators, strangers, residents. It was the difference 
between a man and a manikin, between a priest and a prophet, 
between a mere ceremonialist and a believer, between a prayer 
by machinery or by rote and a prayer out from the soul. 

Soon he became the most prominent and attractive char- 
acter in Washington. I have walked with him along the 
streets, gone with him to the Public and Congressional libra- 


ries, and it was an interesting experience to mark the atten- 
tion his unique figure everywhere attracted. No person in 
Washington was ever in greater demand. He was sought for 
at every literary or social gathering. His rheumatism troubled 
him and he had to drive to every function. I was with him 
one winter which had been particularly cold, with a thin 
skim of ice on the streets, and he said his salary was nine 
hundred dollars, and that month he had a bill of one hun- 
dred and sixty-five dollars for carriage-hire. He said one 
day, "I think I know Washington society pretty well, I have 
been here during every presidency for sixty years, and I want 
to tell you something which has aroused the greatest curiosity. 
No matter however popular a president was with his party, or 
however generally approved by the country, in Washington 
society there was always every kind of social bickering and 
criticism and denunciation until Roosevelt came, and no one 
has ever a word of fault, no matter what he does or what his 
social code or orders." 

If we were to choose, from among Mr. Hale's manifold inter- 
ests for the welfare of humanity, one which now demands the 
concern and pleading of every philanthropist, the one interest 
to which governments should give their serious concern, per- 
haps it would be the cause of peace. War might be called 
the supreme pursuit of the whole world today. Especially 
every powerful and so-called Christian nation is preparing for 
it with an energy and a cost which are a reproach to our 
civilization. It is simply impoverishing the nations. Never 
since the angel song of peace and good will as the character- 
istics of Christianity has there been such preparation, such 
talk about, such fear of, such a desire for war. And the uni- 
versal excuse for all the expenditure is that it is a preparation 
for peace. There is no use in talking about what might be 
done for the cause of education, for the study and practice 
of sanitary measures, for the cure of municipal corruption, 
for the purposes of good government, for everything con- 
cerning human welfare, if the preparations for war could be 
brought within a reasonable figure. War is in the air, and 
all countries are in a fever for Dreadnoughts. Here the fine 
words of the prophet of old might write their memorial over 
the grave of our departed friend, "Righteousness and peace 
have kissed each other." 


As the years went on, his preaching had but one message, 
but one tone, and how many of us have seen this striking and 
venerable figure, as when he preached for me at Lincoln, bend- 
ing over the pulpit with pleading accents, " Ye are the children 
of God ; God is your father; live as his children." Who can 
think of Dr. Hale, as we have seen him go in and out for all 
these years, without feeling what a strong resemblance there 
must have been to the rugged forms of the old prophets as 
they sent out their ringing words amidst the frivolities and 
transgressions of their day, warning Israel of her sins and call- 
ing her back to obedience, — of Hosea, " Sow to yourselves in 
righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground ; 
for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteous- 
ness upon you ; ye have ploughed wickedness, ye have reaped 
iniquity " ; or Amos, "Seek the Lord, ye who leave off right- 
eousness in the earth, let righteousness run down like a 
mighty stream " ; or Micah, " He hath shown thee, O man, 
what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to 
do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy 
God " ; or Isaiah, " Peace, peace to him that is far off, and 
to him that is near, saith the Lord," " O that thou hadst 
listened to my commandments ; then had thy peace been as 
a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea. And 
the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of 
righteousness, quietness and assurance forever." 

Last spring he had a severe attack of illness in Washington, 
which warned him it was better for him to return to his home. 
I went to see him at once, and he had greatly recovered, but 
said, " DeNormandie, I had such pain in Washington." I 
said, " Well, now, perhaps you did not ; you and I have 
never had any illness, we don't know anything about pain. 
I dare say I see some persons who have had more of it for 
years, without any cessation, and when we have it, or most 
men, they make a great row over it." "Oh," he said, "I had 
an awful pain." 

But there was no shadow over his intellectual sky. One 
Tuesday he said to me, " Have you ever read a little book, 
'The Stars and the Earth'?" "Why, yes," I replied, "I 
remember Horace Mann asked me to read it when I was a 
freshman, but I rather think it is an entirely forgotten book." 
"I want to see it again," he said; "I sent to the Library 


yesterday, but they said it was not there." " Oh yes," I said, 
k * of course it is." I sent a messenger in at once with orders to 
find it, and it came out. I took it over to Dr. Hale, and with 
great delight he said, " I shall write a long review about it 
tomorrow, as I remember over fifty years, thinking there was 
something remarkable in it." But on the morrow he was gone. 
The aged tree ceased not to bear fruit because it had begun 
at so early a date. The doctor was afraid of heart failure, 
and forbade him, a few days before, making the exertion of 
going up-stairs, and it was fitting, as it was touching, that, 
surrounded by all the treasures of literature, by the books he 
read and loved and wrote, there in that library where he had 
been such an industrious gleaner and worker, he should fall 

I think we hardly realize what a remarkable, unique, and 
gifted life has been lived right among us, and what a grateful 
task it is thus to call to mind this venerable figure which has 
just passed from our view. 

Old age in itself, merely as increase in years, is not some- 
thing very attractive, nor does it in most cases bring with it 
sufficient compensations for what it takes away. Unless it has 
something to give to its associates of another generation, when 
the companions of its own have all gone ; unless it looks out 
upon the world with a hopeful spirit ; unless, as it looks back, 
it can find much to fortify its faith ; unless it can have a 
reasonable optimism ; unless some inward graces have been 
stored up as the outward have gone ; unless there is a grow-* 
ing confidence in the ways of the Eternal, as many things 
disappoint us, — old age is not an ideal state. 

The tributes to old age which one finds in literature ; the 
beautiful discourse which Plato puts into the lips of the aged 
Cephalus; or when Cicero attributes to the venerable Cato 
those immortal sentiments about old age ; or when the dis- 
tinguished Italian Luclovico Cornaro, at the age of ninety-one, 
writes of " this beautiful world to those who know how to 
make it so by virtue and divine regularity of life," or when 
our Book of Proverbs says " that the hoary head is a crown of 
glory if it be found in the way of righteousness," — these must 
have had in mind an old age like that of Edward Everett 

If it is querulous or embittered, if it is helpless by infirmi- 


lies, if it exaggerates disappointments, if it is all the time 
thinking or saying that only the old ways or the old times 
were good and that now everything is astray, if it bears with 
it the open testimony of an ill-spent life, what is sadder or 
more repulsive than old age? 

Nature has arranged all this with exquisite fitness. She has 
given us one set of faculties within another to be unlocked and 
opened, and to each a new world of realities and enjoyments. 
First the senses opening earliest, and giving us a vast world 
of sensuous beauty and delight; then the faculty of doing, and 
the satisfaction of a vast world of activities ; then the higher 
and inner faculties of reason, imagination, faith, and one set 
opens and grows vivid as another wanes and closes, so that 
man ought to be like a great beautiful plant in which as the 
outer covering fades the inner flower-leaves open to the sun, 
and breathe towards it all their fragrance, and at last the 
golden fruit hangs in clusters upon the bended stem. 

And how good it is for us in the midst of lives so selfish, 
dwarfed, conventional, empty, to think of those who have 
trained and ripened this better nature, until it has made a 
daily triumph over the world ; who restore to us our shaken 
faith in human nature, and show us what man may be by show- 
ing us what he has been, and the memory of whose lives comes 
to us in our sense of failure with a radiance and peace, like 
the after-glow upon the Alpine hills. 

Character is never more attractive or lovely than in the 
iatter days of a devout and kindly pilgrimage. There is a 
ripeness and mellowness, as of fruit which grows luscious only 
as it drinks in the sunbeams through the thinned leafage of 
autumn. And it is this growth of what constitutes spiritual 
life, this culminating as one declines, which the heart invests 
with the quiet assurance of immortality. Sweetness, strength, 
a zeal for humanity, and daily righteousness, — these may be 
all inscribed without any apology or reservation over the name 
of Edward Everett Hale. 

Mr. Warren followed in a tribute to John Noble : 

If any one could have asked of John Noble what should be 
said of him at a meeting like this when his earthly career had 
closed, it is easy to imagine that his modest and unassuming 
spirit would have shrunk from elaborate eulogy and asked 


onl}' for the plain truth of a quiet, uneventful, upright, studi- 
ous, and industrious life. So now fittingly to tell his life's story 
is to present to you the character of a straightforward, honest 
man of rare balance, of an able seeker after truth, and of one 
gifted with unusual knowledge of our colonial history, es- 
pecially in its connection with the principles and administra- 
tion of the law. 

He was so little self-assertive, so retiring in manner, that it 
is doubtful whether many of this Society knew the real worth 
of the man, or had had opportunity during his short member- 
ship to realize that behind the somewhat shy exterior were 
great force, sound judgment, and much accurate historical 
knowledge. Joined to a quiet and undemonstrative appear- 
ance were firm and clear convictions combined with positive- 
ness and decision, an entire freedom from dogmatism, and an 
utter dislike to controversy. 

However much the storm of discussion raged around him, 
it apparently affected him but little, though, when the time for 
action came, the maturity of his thought and the soundness of 
his judgment showed the clear working of his mind. He was 
seldom or never an active combatant, but he was a close stu- 
dent of the questions of the day, political, economic, or histor- 
ical, and his conclusions were ever the result of careful thought 
and of great breadth of view. In his religious life he was long 
connected with the church of our friend Dr. DeNormanclie in 
Roxbury, and there as elsewhere he was a valuable counsellor 
and moved by the clearest of convictions and the utmost sin- 
cerity of belief. 

Graduating at Harvard in 1850, with high rank in a class 
containing such men as James C. Carter, Joseph Henry 
Thayer, Augustus Lowell, Howard Osgood, and others of dis- 
tinction, — not to mention members of our own Society, — 
he devoted his earlier years to teaching as master in the 
Boston Latin School, and did not take his degree at the 
Harvard Law School until 1858. He then opened a law office 
in Boston, and for some years was engaged in the general 
practice of the law with some success, and yet not such as his 
undoubted abilities entitled him to. His reserve of manner, 
almost amounting to self-distrust, stood in the way of complete 
success. Forensic display and active strife offered no attrac- 
tions to him, and he was better known for his mastery of the 


science of the law and his accurate knowledge of legal prin- 
ciples than for his distinction as a practising lawyer. 

In 1875 he was offered and accepted the position of Clerk 
of the Supreme Judicial Court, and to that office he was re- 
peatedly elected by the people, and filled it to the entire 
acceptance of Bench and Bar. 

It was an important and responsible position, requiring an 
accurate knowledge of law and great administrative capacity, 
and his long term of service enabled him to render conspicuous 
service to the Commonwealth. It brought him also into con- 
stant connection with many men of great ability and cultiva- 
tion, and the duties were not so arduous but that he could find 
the opportunity and leisure for the historical investigations 
in which he had become greatly interested. 

He became a close student of colonial history, and edited 
with care and accuracy two volumes of the Records of the Court 
of Assistants of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, 1630-1692, 
and published as well other histori co-legal pamphlets. A 
work which the legal fraternity perhaps best appreciated was 
the filing and indexing of the vast and confused mass of 
records of the Court from the earliest day, preserving thus an 
interesting and important collection of legal and historical 

Being elected to membership in this Society in April, 1899, 
his frequent and valuable contributions to its Proceedings 
show the interest he took in historical matters as well as his 
knowledge and capacity for work. Beside these he contrib- 
uted an interesting memoir of Chief-Justice Walbridge A. Field, 
and had assigned to him the memoirs of Judge Barker and 
William P. Upham which failing health prevented him from 
completing. He was also a member of the Colonial Society of 
Massachusetts, its corresponding secretary, and chairman of 
its publishing committee. 

As trustee of the Roxbury Latin School, in which he took 
great interest, he rendered efficient and valuable service, and 
as an overseer of Harvard College for some years he exercised 
extensive influence and brought to the service of his Alma 
Mater all the powers of a matured mind full of interest in her 
welfare and progress. 

It was a loss to this Society that membership had not come 
to him in earlier life. The many contributions of the few 


science of the law and his accurate knowledge of legal prin- 
ciples than for his distinction as a practising lawyer. 

In L875 he was offered and accepted the position of Clerk 
of the Supreme Judicial Court, and to that oflice he was re- 
peatedly elected by the people, and filled it to the entire 
acceptance of Bench and Bar. 

It was an important and responsible position, requiring an 
accurate knowledge of law and great administrative capacity, 
and his long term of service enabled him to render conspicuous 
service to the Commonwealth. It brought him also into con- 
stant connection with many men of great ability and cultiva- 
tion, and the duties were not so arduous but that he could find 
the opportunity and leisure for the historical investigations 
in which he had become greatly interested. 

He became a close student of colonial history, and edited 
with care and accuracy two volumes of the Records of the Court 
of Assistants of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, 1630-1692, 
and published as well other historico-legal pamphlets. A 
work which the legal fraternity perhaps best appreciated was 
the filing and indexing of the vast and confused mass of 
records of the Court from the earliest day, preserving thus an 
interesting and important collection of legal and historical 

Being elected to membership in this Society in April, 1899, 
his frequent and valuable contributions to its Proceedings 
show the interest he took in historical matters as well as his 
knowledge and capacity for work. Beside these he contrib- 
uted an interesting memoir of Chief-Justice Walbridge A. Field, 
and had assigned to him the memoirs of Judge Barker and 
William P. Upham which failing health prevented him from 
completing. He was also a member of the Colonial Society of 
Massachusetts, its corresponding secretary, and chairman of 
its publishing committee. 

As trustee of the Roxbury Latin School, in which he took 
great interest, he rendered efficient and valuable service, and 
as an overseer of Harvard College for some years he exercised 
extensive influence and brought to the service of his Alma 
.Mater all the powers of a matured mind full of interest in her 
welfare and progress. 

It was a loss to this Society that membership had not come 
to him in earlier life. The many contributions of the few 

Drawn on Preuss's map of 1848. 

1900.] THE OREGON TRAIL. 19 

years he was with us show how much might have been given 
if declining health and the burden of years had not prevented. 
What he left with us shows how great the loss is by his death, 
not only to historical study and criticism and to good citizen- 
ship, but to the well-being and strength of this Society and of 
other Societies that had availed themselves, but in part, of 
his ripe experience, his wide information, and his healthy 

Horace Davis, a Corresponding Member, read a paper 
entitled : 

The Oregon Trail. 

Nature furnished one good practical emigrant route from 
the Mississippi to the Columbia and but one, — the Oregon 
Trail, 1 following the valleys of the Platte and Snake rivers. 
The Platte furnishes a good natural grade to the summit of 
the Rockies at South Pass, and there you are only one hun- 
dred and eighty miles, as the bird flies, from Fort Hall on the 
Snake River, or three hundred and twenty-five miles by the 
windings of the old emigrant road, with no serious difficulties 
to overcome between the two points ; and the water that 
flows by Fort Hall pours into the Pacific Ocean. The Union 
Pacific Railway as far as Granger and the Oregon Short Line 
from Granger to the Columbia River follow the old trail quite 
closely, making some cut-offs which the emigrant could not 
make because the needs of his stock compelled him to avoid 
the alkali deserts and keep where there was good water as 
well as good feed. 

It seems strange, viewing it at this distance, that so many 
years elapsed before any passable trail was opened over this 
route, but really there was nobody in Oregon who needed a 

1 The most authentic map of the Oregon Trail, and the country through which 
it led, is that issued by the United States in 1848, based upon the surveys of John 
Charles Fremont and other authorities, and drawn by Charles Preuss. It was 
printed by order of the Senate to accompany Fremont's " Geographical Memoir 
upon Upper California." Another map, based on Chittenden's " American Fur 
Trade," is in Turner's " Rise of the New West," of Hart's " American Nation 
series." The map prepared for this paper is based upon a sketch map of the 
United States, issued about 1848, and drawn by E. Gilman, and does not pretend 
to give the exact lines of the rivers and mountains. In taking this map the idea 
is to make prominent the line of the "trail," without the confusing adjuncts of a 
more elaborate detail. 


trail. No Americans settled there before 1834, and the Hud- 
son Bay people, who had a line of fortified stations extending 
from the Mexican boundary in latitude 42° across the whole 
North-west clear up into the Frazer River territory, sent their 
mails on the backs of Indian runners by way of Winnipeg 
through British territory, and naturally discouraged dealings 
with the United States. Besides, the Oregon Trail led 
through five hundred miles of utterly barren country, and its 
whole length was more or less in danger of hostile Indians. 

Going back to the beginning of our knowledge of Oregon, 
in 17 ( J2 Captain Gray took his bark Columbia over the bar, 
gave a name to the river and sailed away, having given to the 
United States a claim to the country by right of discovery. 

In 1805 Lewis and Clark forced their way over the 
Rockies at the north up in Montana, spent a winter at the 
mouth of the Columbia and returned, having met with no 
white man west of the Rocky Mountains. They opened no 
route passable for immigrants, and their journey had no per- 
manent results except in the political world to assert our claim 
to the valley of the Columbia. 

In 1810 came Astor's disastrous attempt to establish a 
trading station at the mouth of the river. His goods and part 
of his men went round the Horn, while another party, under 
Wilson P. Hunt, undertook to come out overland. These 
men went up the Missouri and Yellowstone to their southern 
sources and thence across to the headwaters of the Snake. 
After ten months of frightful suffering from famine and 
exposure most of the party reached Astoria. 

The next year, 1812, a part of Astor's men, under command 
of Robert Stuart, undertook to return across the continent 
from Astoria to St. Louis by the same route, the Snake and 
the Yellowstone. They got lost in the rugged mountains at 
the head of the Snake, had to camp over winter, and finally 
blundered on to the Platte, which they descended to St. Louis, 
having been ten months on the way. But Astor's venture was 
destined to short life. The British were already strongly 
intrenched on the Columbia. The Northwest Compan}^, a 
British corporation trapping and trading on Pacific waters, 
looked upon Astor as an intruder, endangering their monop- 
oly, and resolved to freeze him out. Circumstances favored 
their plans, and in 1813 he surrendered to them. The Pacific 

1900.] THE OREGON TRAIL. 21 

Fur Company disappeared from Oregon, and for twenty years 
we hear little of Americans on the waters of the Columbia. 

But the United States steadily maintained its claim to 
the territory, although it had no citizens resident there, and in 
1818, by a convention between the two countries, it was agreed 
that " the north-west coast of America west of the stony moun- 
tains " should be held in joint occupation for ten years. At 
the expiration of that period, in 1828, the convention was 
renewed indefinitely, with the privilege to either party of end- 
ing the existing status by giving twelve months' notice. You 
will observe that this agreement included everything west 
of the Rockies from the Mexican boundary in 42° north to the 
Russian territory in 54° 40'. 

Although Astor's American company was driven off the 
Columbia in 1813, our people soon began to invade the terri- 
tory of Oregon on its eastern edge. As the fur-bearing ani- 
mals became scarce, the hardy trapper followed them farther 
and farther into the recesses of the mountains, especially that 
rugged group which is the mother of three great rivers, the 
Missouri, the Colorado, and the Columbia. The traders fol- 
lowed the trapper, and the travelled road followed the trader. 
Nature had prepared the way, and by 1826 there was a passa- 
ble wagon road from the Missouri up the Platte to the divide, 
and by 1829 the trading posts in the Rockies were receiving 
their regular supplies by mule teams over this road. Three 
years later, in 1832, we find the wagon road extended to Fort 
Hall on the Snake. West of this point the country was rough 
and inhospitable, almost a desert; there were no white settlers 
clear to the Pacific, and the trading posts belonging to the 
Hudson Bay Company received their goods from the west by 
sea. So the Trail remained impassable for loaded wagons for 
ten years or more to come. That same year, 1832, Nathaniel 
J. Wyeth made the first continuous overland trip on record, 
leaving Boston in April and reaching Fort Vancouver the 29th 
of October, a six months' trip. His route was along the Platte 
and Snake. The next year he returned east by way of the 
Snake and the Yellowstone. 

And now we are coming to a great change of scenery and 
persons. So far the Americans have not been in it. The Brit- 
ish, first as the Northwest Company, afterwards as the Hudson 
Bay Company, had been in practical control of the country. 


With a network of posts covering the whole coast, they had a 
commercial monopoly from the Mexican boundary to the Rus- 
sian possessions. They were traders only. They raised a little 
agricultural produce around some of their posts, and a few of 
their retired employees, mostly French half-breeds with Indian 
wives, had settled in the Willamette valley. But the company 
was a trader and discouraged all encroachments on its privi- 
leges. The monotony of these primitive conditions was finally 
broken by the voice of the missionary. It needed the stimulus 
of religious zeal to bring the first permanent settlers to Oregon. 
Three times in the history of North America earnest men in 
obedience to the voice of God had planted cities in the wil- 
derness, — Plymouth, San Diego, Oregon, — all founded by 
religious zeal. 

For some reason not altogether clear to us, the Missionary 
Board of the Methodist Episcopal Church determined to 
establish a missionary station among the Indians of Oregon, 
and sent out two Methodist clergymen and three laymen to 
begin the work. 1 Our old friend Wyeth was leading a second 
party from St. Louis to the Columbia River. These mission- 
aries joined him at Independence, Missouri, and the expedi- 
tion started west April 28, 1834, by the Oregon Trail, reaching 
Fort Vancouver in September. These five men were the first 
American settlers in Oregon. So began our occupation of the 
territory. Presbyterian missionaries followed across the conti- 
nent in 1836, and Catholics in 1839, supplies and recruits being 
sent out meantime around the Horn. But with all the reli- 
gious zeal and the attractions of trade, there were not one 
hundred American citizens in the Columbia River valley in 
1840. It was a very long, hard road to get there. 

Still, in spite of all this seeming indifference on the part of 
our people, there was always an unwillingness to give up our 
claim to Oregon, a kind of dumb purpose to maintain a" com- 
mercial foothold on the Pacific. It had cropped out at nearly 
every session of Congress since 1821, in the form of bills to 
establish military posts along the Trail for the protection of 
immigrants, bills granting lands to settlers, bills extending the 
jurisdiction of the United States Courts over the territory of 

1 The missionaries were Jason and Daniel Lee, sometime of Stanstcad, 
Canada, Cyrus Shepard, of Lynn, Massachusetts, Philip L. Edwards, and Courte- 
nay M. Walker, of Richmond, Missouri. — Bancroft's "History of Oregon," i. 

1909.] THE OREGON" TRAIL. 23 

Oregon. All these failed of passage because Congress was un- 
willing to take any decided action during the joint occupation, 
especially as we had some very delicate diplomatic questions 
on hand elsewhere with England, such as the Maine boun- 
dary, the right of search, and questions connected with slavery, 
so that Congress was loath to complicate the situation by rais- 
ing fresh issues. 

Under these conditions President Jackson in 1835 sent a 
special commissioner, Mr. W. A. Slacum, across Mexico to 
Oregon to report on its condition. He visited the new mis- 
sionary settlement on the Willamette, and on his return made 
a careful report, in which he insisted with great earnestness 
that on no condition should we surrender Puget Sound. Great 
Britain was inclined to recognize our superior claim to the ter- 
ritory south of the Columbia, and we tacitly allowed her rights 
north of latitude 49°, but the intervening territory, comprising 
the States of Washington, Idaho, and part of Montana, with 
the magnificent port of Puget Sound, was claimed by both 
nations, and we needed it very much. 

The interest felt in the Oregon question, though greatest in 
the Western States, reached the Atlantic seaboard. A society 
was incorporated in Massachusetts in 1831 to promote emigra- 
tion to Oregon, and issued a magazine devoted to that pur- 
pose. Somewhat later a convention was held in Illinois with 
the same end in view. All these were symptoms of an underly- 
ing determination to hold Oregon. It was a long way off and 
very hard to reach, but we must have it. Still these move- 
ments were premature. The time had not come, though it 
was close at hand. 

The subject invaded the field of literature ; Irving's u As- 
toria" and "Bonneville," published in 1836 and 1837, dealing 
with the trials and sufferings of the pioneers in these western 
regions, created a new interest and added fuel to the flame. A 
little later, in 1841, Wilkes in his exploring expedition visited 
San Francisco and Puget Sound, and sent scouting parties 
through a considerable part of the Columbia valley. 

We have now almost reached the time for ringing up the 
curtain of the last grand act, the occupation of the shores of 
the North Pacific by our people, in which move the Oregon 
Trail plays a most vital part. But first let us sketch briefly 
the national conditions bearing upon this stupendous move. 


Iii 1840 the Rocky Mountains formed the western border 
of our undisputed possessions. North of 42° the title was in 
doubt and the country was held in joint possession. There 
were perhaps one hundred Americans in the lower Colum- 
bia valley, and possibly three or four hundred American 
trappers and traders along the eastern edge of the disputed 
territory on the flanks of the Rockies. The vast region in 
question was covered by a network of Hudson Bay trading- 
posts, and that company held the monopoly of the commerce. 
Our people clung to their title to Oregon, but the country 
itself seemed to be slipping from our hands. The British 
were on the ground in numbers, and between Oregon and the 
western frontier of our population lay eighteen hundred miles 
of hard road to travel, passable only in summer and then 
only at great expenditure of money and strength. 

South of 42° all was Mexican territory from the Rockies to 
the Pacific, including California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New 
Mexico, and part of Wyoming and Colorado. California, the 
gem of it all, was almost insular in her isolation. Walled in 
by high mountains on the north and east, with a dreary desert 
between her and Mexico on the south-east and an almost 
barren waste with hardly any population stretching from the 
eastern base of the Sierras to the Rockies, her principal con- 
nection with the world was by sea. She kept up a trifling 
trade with New Mexico over what was known as the Old 
Spanish Trail, but the road was very difficult and beset with 
hostile Indians, so that the commerce was insignificant. In 
1844, some years later, Dr. Marsh thought there were about 
seven hundred Americans in California, but the Mexican 
government was suspicious of them and gave them the cold 
shoulder. Direct communication with the United States was 
not encouraged, though a few bolder spirits had crossed the 
deserts between Sacramento and Salt Lake, partly on the 
route of the Central Pacific Railroad, but there was no 
regular communication. 

Such was the state of our western frontier in 1840. Prac- 
tically the Rocky Mountains were our western boundary. 
Of the vast stretch west of them half was under Mexican rule, 
the other half was under the control of a British corporation, 
and the little handful of Americans who were nestled down 
in the valley of the Willamette and isolated from their old 

1909.] THE OREGON TRAIL. 25 

homes by a wide belt of deserts and impassable mountains; 
their only connection with home being over this narrow 
thread, the Oregon Trail, eighteen hundred miles of solitude 
and trial before reaching civilization. 

In the course of the next ten years the whole character of 
the coast was changed ; the desert solitudes echoed the march 
of an army of emigrants and gold-seekers ; the Arcadian 
simplicity of life in these Pacific valleys vanished forever. 
The American settler planted his foot upon the Pacific Coast 
and took possession of it permanently from Puget Sound to San 
Diego. By 1850 a garrison of one hundred and fifty thousand 
sturdy men had settled forever our title to a Pacific frontage. 

Already in 1842 the Oregon Trail was recognized as the 
most practicable route for emigrants across the continent ; it 
was called "the emigrant road." The Oregon excitement was 
reaching fever heat by that time, and already the pioneers of 
the great movement had begun their march. As they start 
out on their long weary pilgrimage, let us look back and see 
what kind of a world they were leaving behind them. 

The events and the men of those days, two generations ago, 
have now a place in history, and the conditions of their life 
seem like those of primitive simplicity. It was nearly twenty 
years before the Civil War. John Tyler was President, and 
the great men, active at Washington, were the generation 
following the framers of the Constitution. Most prominent 
among them stood Webster, Clay, Calhoun, Benton, Silas 
Wright, John Quincy Adams, and James Buchanan, — names 
now historic. The slavery question was looming up with 
ominous portent, threatening the peace and safety of the 
Union; and Texas was knocking at the door for admission. 

The means of travel were still primitive. Though there 
were steamboats on the western rivers, the sail vessel was still 
supreme on salt water ; and European immigration had not 
fairly set in, at least in any great volume. But the sturdy 
settlers who crossed the plains in bull-teams were mostly 
Americans by birth, largely from the frontier, accustomed to 
the hardships and lonely life on the border. These formed 
the majority of men who came " the Plains across " in later 
days, both to Oregon and California. The border States 
furnished a constant crop of such men who loved to live face 
to face with the wilderness, who felt stifled in a settled 



country and were ready on the slightest provocation to pull 
up stakes and start out into the open wilderness. 

Railroads were in their infancy ; only a few short lines 
between the principal Atlantic cities had been built, and there 
was no telegraph, the Morse system not being successfully 
operated till 18-44. But the man who travelled in a prairie 
schooner with his own bull-team for motive power cared little 
for railroads or steamboats, — perhaps he never had seen 
either. When he made up his mind to move, he loaded his 
family and household goods in a stout wagon and trusted to 
the enduring powers of his stock to reach his new home, — 
possibly clear across the continent. 

Nearly forty years had elapsed since the Louisiana Pur- 
chase in 1803, and population had been steadily flowing into 
that region, till three States had been erected within its 
limits, — Louisiana in 1812, Missouri in 1821, and Arkansas in 
1836. Iowa, too, was about ready for statehood, and was 
admitted to the Union in 1846. Thus the west bank of the 
Mississippi was already fringed with States ; and the popula- 
tion was now dense enough from its mouth clear to Minnesota 
to be admitted to statehood. The cream of the rich fertile 
lands was about taken up, and the restless frontiersmen of 
those border States were reaching out for fresh conquests; 
but the new lands before them were getting less and less 
attractive, and the tide of emigration was rapidly approaching 
the hundredth meridian, the boundary of the Arid Region, 
while just beyond were the summits of the Rockies, the 
western limit of the territory to which the United States held 
an undisputed title. 

These were the conditions of our western frontier in 1840, 
when travellers' tales began to be freely circulated of a para- 
dise for the farmer away out on the Pacific shores in Oregon, 
fat lands, mild climate with plenty of rain, and another lovely 
country in California, but under Mexican rule. All this chimed 
in with the passion of the day, which was a hunger for more 
territory. The Louisiana Purchase was rapidly filling up, and 
our people wanted more room. The friends of negro slavery 
were eager to enlarge the area of that institution in order to 
maintain the balance in the United States Senate, while the 
long-sighted men at Washington were scheming for a substan- 
tial foothold on the Pacific Ocean. 

1909.] THE OREGON TRAIL. 27 

The decade of the forties was a period of, wonderful expan- 
sion of the area of the United States. That was the time 
when we heard so much talk of "manifest destiny," and 
manifest destiny meant usually an increase of area for human 
slavery. Then it was we heard so often that well-worn 
couplet (slightly altered from Jonathan Mitchell Sewall), 

No pent-up Utica contracts our powers, 
For the whole boundless continent is ours ; 

and we proceeded to appropriate a large part of the conti- 
nent which did not belong to us. In 1845 Texas was an- 
nexed. In 1846 the Pakenham treaty with Great Britain 
terminated the joint occupation of Oregon, confirming our 
title to our Pacific possessions from the forty-second to the 
forty-ninth parallel and from the Western Ocean to the 

In 1848 by the Guadalupe-Hidalgo treaty we acquired from 
Mexico the territory south of the forty-second parallel to our 
present southern boundary, except the southern half of Ari- 
zona, which came to us by the Gadsden purchase five years 
later, in 1853. Thus we acquired, between 1845 and 185S 
inclusive, undisturbed possession of an area almost as large, 
including Oregon, as all our previous territory, and although 
much of this land had little agricultural value, it contained 
some of the richest mineral wealth of the world ; most signifi- 
cant of all, it gave us the most desirable harbors on the eastern 
shore of the North Pacific Ocean, a double frontage on salt 
water, the world's ,great highway of commerce, ensuring us 
the first call on the trade of eastern Asia, and a chance to bid 
for the commercial supremacy of the world when our material 
development should justify such a claim. All this was in the 
cards played by our statesmen in that decade, though it was 
but dimly discerned by some of them. 

The first move in this great game of expansion was to secure 
Oregon, not Oregon south of the Columbia River only, but all 
up to latitude 49° including Puget Sound. Great Britain 
offered to renew the convention, but Congress steadily refused 
either to abrogate it or to renew it for any definite period. 
Otherwise than this, Congress seemed utterly indifferent. The 
period was critical. The strong British corporation had a firm 


grasp on the territory, and in 1841 began to import Canadian 
settlers, and to plant them around the Sound, while our gov- 
ernment was doing nothing. 

The matter was finally settled by the people. The Oregon 
fever had been steadily increasing, and small parties had been 
going out over the Trail every, year since 1839 to settle on the 
Columbia. By 1811 it was strong enough to become a potent 
factor in the presidential campaign. Polk was elected on a 
pledge to maintain our claim to the Pacific coast clear up to 
the Russian possessions. Old men still remember the Demo- 
cratic war-cry of 1841, " Fifty Four Forty or fight." 

The boldness of our claim to Oregon when there were no 
Americans there but a considerable number of British subjects 
already on the ground, is something remarkable. By 1842 
things had reached a crisis, — we must either make good or 
get out. Our people were heading for the Pacific ; several 
small parties had gone out ; serious friction was inevitable. 
Great Britain refused to yield ; the only remedy was the com- 
plete occupation of the country by an army of home-seekers ; 
" possession is nine points of the law." To clear the way for 
this emigration, to obtain an intelligent description of the 
route and road, some account of the resources of the country, 
Colonel Abert, Chief of the Topographical Engineers United 
States Army, in May, 1842, detailed J. C. Fremont, then a 
second lieutenant, to explore and report upon " the country 
between the frontiers of Missouri and the South Pass of the 
Rocky Mountains." You will observe his instructions did not 
carry him into the disputed territory, but only to the summit 
of the Rockies. He set out in May, 1842^ made a very thor- 
ough examination of the road, and returned in October of the 
same year. Among other interesting matter he reported that 
a party of sixty-four immigrants bound for Oregon were a few 
days ahead of him all the way ; a pack of cards which he 
picked up at one of their abandoned camps leads us to think 
they were not a band of missionaries. 

Fremont made an excellent report of his reconnaissance, 
which was published by Congress and was in great demand. 
It was the first exact, reliable account of the emigrant road, 
though it covered only the first half to the summit of the 
Rockies. The next year he was sent out on a second expedi- 
tion, instructed to connect his first explorations " with the 

1909.] THE OREGON TRAIL. 29 

surveys of Commander Wilkes on the coast of the Pacific 
Ocean, so as to give a connected survey of the interior of our 
Continent''; in plain English, he was to survey the rest of the 
Oregon Trail as far as the Dalles of the Columbia and report 
on its condition. This was in 1843. By this time emigration 
had gained some headway, and Fremont reports passing on 
his second reconnaissance several hundred emigrants strung 
along the route, plodding their weary way or recruiting their 
strength at some favorable camping ground. Among them 
was the Chiles party bound for California, the first California 
emigrant party to cross the Sierras. 

He found a good wagon road as far as Fort Hall on the 
Snake, near what is now Pocatello, and the emigrants of that 
very year had improved the worst places west of that point, so 
that they were passable for his howitzer and his wagon. He 
carried out his instructions, reached the Dalles, and went on 
down the Columbia to Fort Vancouver. From this point he 
retraced his steps to the Des Chutes River on the eastern 
flank of the Coast Range. There he turned southward and 
ascended that stream to its sources. This is the route from 
Oregon to California for which the Hill and Harriman railroad 
systems are fighting to-day. Fremont went on past the Kla- 
math Lakes to the head waters of the Pitt, where he turned 
to the southeast and descended into the desert country to 
Pyramid Lake. Here he entered an unknown region. 

From Klamath Lakes he says "our course was intended to 
be about southeast to a reported lake called Marys," and 
thence still on southeast to " the reputed Buenaventura River 
said to flow from the Rocky Mountains to the bay of San 
Francisco, where," he continues, " in the softer climate of a 
more southern latitude our horses might find grass to sustain 
them and ourselves be sheltered from the rigors of winter and 
from the inhospitable desert " ; after which he proposed to 
strike southeasterly across the Great Basin to the head waters 
of the Arkansas. I need not detail his disappointment. 
Buenaventura River was a myth. Instead of comfortable 
winter quarters on its banks, he found nothing but cold, inhos- 
pitable deserts. He kept on south across the Truckee, Carson, 
and Walker rivers, when, seeing the mountains on the west 
growing higher and more forbidding every day, and famine 
staring him in the face, he turned away from the desert and 


boldly pushed over the Sierras to Sutter's Fort in California, 
making- the trip at the cost of great suffering, but without loss 
of life. 

After recruiting his men he avoided conflict with the Mex- 
ican authorities at Monterey by turning south from Sutter's 
Fort, ascending the San Joaquin to its head, passing over the 
Tehachapi * mountains by the present railroad route ; then, 
again shunning the Mexican authorities at Los Angeles, he 
turned east down the Mojave on the Old Spanish Trail by much 
the same route as that followed to-day by the San Pedro, Los 
Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad. But before reaching Salt 
Lake he struck off' to the east towards the head waters of the 
Arkansas into unexplored country, where we will leave him. 
He reached St. Louis August 6, 1844. His report was pub- 
lished by Congress with a reprint of the first expedition. As 
indicating the interest in the subject, I will add here that these 
reports were both reprinted in 1846 by a New York publish- 
ing house, and again in 1849 at London. 

There is some mystery about the origin of these expeditions. 
Benton says, in his " Thirty Years' View," that Fremont him- 
self conceived the plan of the first expedition in 1842 and 
obtained from Colonel Abert, Chief of the Topographical Bu- 
reau, orders to survey the emigrant road to South Pass, but 
that the government, the Executive Department, knew noth- 
ing about it. On his return, says Benton, he solicited and ob- 
tained orders to continue the survey across the continent to the 
point reached in 1841 by Commander Wilkes, who had sur- 
veyed the Columbia River from its mouth to the Dalles. After 
Fremont had started on his second expedition, in Ma}', 1843, 
for some reason his orders were countermanded, but the letter 
revoking them was detained at St. Louis by Mrs. Fremont and 
did not reach him till his return. 

Without much doubt Fremont's father-in-law, Benton, who 
took a great interest in Oregon, devised this plan for survey- 
ing and improving the Trail, hoping to invite settlers thereby 
and at the same time give his son-in-law a comfortable lift. 
The first expedition went through without objection, being on 
our territory entirely, but the second might be deemed a vio- 
lation of the convention in sending an army officer at the head 
of a reconnoissance with a mountain howitzer through the dis- 

1 Talieechaypah, in Bancroft's " Native Races of the Pacific States," iv. 695. 

1909.] THE OREGON TRAIL. 31 

puted territory, and was so strongly objected to by the Execu- 
tive Department that an unsuccessful effort was made to stop 
it. The howitzer, which appears to have been taken without 
authority, was the ground of the main charge made against 
Fremont. The unlucky gun was finally abandoned in the 
snow at the head of Carson River. 

By 1842 it had become- clear that the struggle for the posses- 
sion of Oregon must soon be decided. Our people were be- 
ginning to cross the continent and settle there in considerable 
numbers, and Great Britain was bringing out Canadians to 
support her claims. It was very plain that the presence of 
ten or fifteen thousand sturdy border men in the valley of the 
Columbia would go a long wajr toward the settlement. 

Both parties seemed unwilling to force an issue. Great 
Britain hoped to win by the strong compact force of the 
Hudson Bay Company. On our side the extreme slavehold- 
ing interests were very powerful at Washington, and seemed 
lukewarm in the matter, knowing that the disputed territory 
was too far north for negro occupation. Mr. McDuffie, of South 
Carolina, declared in the Senate : u I would not give a pinch of 
snuff for the whole territory. I wish to God we did not own 
it. ... If I had a son whose conduct made him a fit subject for 
Botany Bay, I would say, in the name of God, go [there]. 
This is my estimate of the importance of the settlement." 

Mr. Calhoun, on the other hand, defended it on commercial 
grounds and argued that time was our ally. Oregon was geo- 
graphically nearer to our own people than to any other nation, 
and in due time in the natural course of things American 
emigrants would fill the disputed territory and the question 
would settle itself. But these slow methods did not satisfy 
the more eager spirits, and Congress was flooded with bills to 
facilitate the settlement of Oregon. All these failed of pas- 
sage, and it was left for the people themselves to end the 
struggle, which they did by settling up Oregon. And the 
Fremont expeditions helped on this movement immensely. 

To the emigrant starting for the Pacific the road was beset 
with hardships and dangers such as he had never seen. Ar- 
mies of buffaloes, bands of wild Indians, bears, wolves, snow- 
clad mountains, furious rivers to be crossed, long stretches of 
road without food for man or beast, alkali deserts without 
water or shade, — such were the perils lying in wait for the 


traveller, beside more or less Munchausen fables, like that 
about the whirlpool in Salt Lake. To clear up these doubtful 
questions and give a plain, distinct, accurate account of the 
route, what preparations were needed, what hardships had to 
be encountered, what resources and facilities were to be had in 
crossing, and possibly what protection the government might 
oiler by establishing military posts on the road, — these were 
the objects of the Fremont expeditions. 

In estimating the results of opening the Trail we must not 
forget that the road to Oregon was also the road to California. 
Many of the earliest settlers in the Sacramento valley went 
over the mountains through southern Oregon. The emi- 
grants of a later period who went direct to California followed 
the Oregon Trail to the neighborhood of Fort Hall, and 
branched off to the south, — some at Bear River, others west 
of Fort Hall, — travelling down the Humboldt. Truckee Pass 
in the Sierras, now occupied by the Central Pacific Railroad, 
was discovered in 1844 and became at once the main travelled 

Notwithstanding the increasing friction between the British 
and the Americans and the possibility of its resulting in war, 
the emigration to Oregon steadily increased. It was esti- 
mated at one thousand persons in 1843, at fourteen hundred 
in 1844, at three thousand in 1845, and fifteen hundred in 
1846, after which California shared the western movement of 
settlers. When in the latter year the treaty was made defin- 
ing the parallel of 49° as the boundary between the two na- 
tions, there must have been nearly eight thousand American 
settlers in Oregon territory. It was a hopeless struggle for 
Great Britain ; she accepted the inevitable, and the forty-ninth 
parallel became the boundary. 

Meantime no inconsiderable number of Americans had 
drifted into California. Dr. Marsh in 1845 estimated their 
number at seven hundred, which was increased again that 
year, and, according to H. H. Bancroft, eight hundred or nine 
hundred were added to the list in 1846. When the war with 
Mexico broke out that year, they aided materially in the con- 
quest of the country by the American government. 

By 1848 the struggle for a foothold on the Pacific was over, 
and we were in peaceful possession of California and Oregon, 
with fifteen hundred miles' frontage on the Western Ocean, 


including the two great ports of San Francisco and Puget 
Sound, beside the mouth of the Columbia. 

The settlers had practically won the victory in both regions, 
but after all it was a close shave. When we recall that down 
to 1834 the British were in sole possession of all Oregon, that 
in 1840 there were only one hundred Americans in the terri- 
tory, when we remember that in 1845 and 1846 the British 
were pressing Mexico for the satisfaction of their claims by 
the transfer of California to the British flag and their warships 
were hovering around the coast ready to seize it, we realize 
how imminent was the peril. With San Francisco and Puget 
Sound in the hands of our rivals, even if we had held on to 
Oregon south of the Columbia, we should have been shut out 
from first-class deep-water ports on the Pacific ; Great Britain 
would now be holding the key to the commerce of the North 
Pacific; Eldorado and the Inland Empire would be hers; 
America would no longer have her double frontage on two 
oceans, she would be confined to the Atlantic in her commerce 
and her dreams of commercial supremacy would have faded 
out. From all this we have been saved by the trials and 
patience of the hardy emigrants, and the Oregon Trail be- 
comes a dominant factor in our national history. 

There is little romance in the " bull-team " toiling its dull 
pace over the dusty desert, but this humble exponent of 
American progress unquestionably won for us our command- 
ing position on the North Pacific. 

Mr. Sanborn communicated the following paper : 

Two New Hampshire Libraries in Hampton Falls, 1785. 

The Libraries of which I am to speak were those of two 
neighbors and friends in my native town, living two miles 
apart, but for more than forty years acquainted, — Colonel 
Meshech Weare, Chief-Justice, Governor (with the title of 
President), and Revolutionary leader in the little State of 
New Hampshire, born in 1713, and dying in 1786, a graduate 
of Harvard College in 1735 ; and Samuel Langdon, S.T.D., 
President of Harvard College (where he was graduated in 
1740) from 1774 to 1780, and in the latter year settled as 
minister of the town of Hampton Falls, largely through the 
influence of his friend Colonel Weare, who had made his ac- 



quaintance when he was a .young minister at Portsmouth, be- 
fore the capture of Louisburg in 1745, at which Langdon 
assisted as chaplain of the New Hampshire regiment. Colonel 
Weare himself had been destined for the pulpit by his pious 
father, Deacon Nathaniel Weare, of what is now Seabrook, 
New Hampshire. There his pious grandfather, Nathaniel, had 
settled in 1(362, and had been an important person in the early 
government of the royal Province of New Hampshire, from its 
establishment in 1680 till his death in 1718. It was this grand- 
father who on a mission to England in 1684-85 had procured 
the recall of Edward Cranfield, the despotic Governor, and, 
through the famous Lord Halifax, the pardon of my ancestor 
Edward Gove, then a prisoner in the Tower, under sentence 
for treason. The care of public business came by inheritance 
to this gentleman's grandson, who, having married an heiress 
in 1738, gave up his profession, took to the management of his 
wife's land, along with his own, entered the militia, was chosen 
to the Assembly, served for many years as colonel of the 
Hampton regiment, read law, and from an associate justice 
became chief-justice by appointment before the Revolution. 
Colonel Weare held, first and last, every office in his town, 
Province and State, until he declined a re-election as gov- 
ernor, having previously resigned as chief-justice ; and he was 
buried with a funeral sermon by his minister and friend, Dr. 
Langdon, not long after Judge Oliver Peabody, of Exeter, 
had drawn up the will from which I now quote the disposition 
to be made of his library : 

As my son Samuel and daughter Mary will hold the buildings I 
have erected on lands which belonged to their late mother (which are 
more than equal to what I can give my other children) I give them 
nothing, excepting I give to my son Samuel Wood's Institutes, and to 
my daughter Mary an equal share of my household goods with my 
other children . . . Item, I give and bequeathe all my wearing ap- 
parel and Library, except Wood's Institutes, to my four sons, Nathan, 
Thomas Wibird, Nathaniel and Redford, to be equally divided between 

The inventory of Colonel Weare showed a large holding of 
lands in new townships of New Hampshire, and in the old 
township of Hampton (now organized in six different towns, 
Hampton, Hampton Falls, North Hampton, South Hampton, 
Kensington, and Seabrook), but comparatively little other prop- 


erty. The explanation of this is found in the character of the 
testator, as indicated in a letter to Colonel Weare by one of 
his wealthy friends in Portsmouth, John Wendell, who wrote 
under date of June 29, 1778 : 

My circumstances place me beyond a dependence, and a private life 
is the summit of my ambition, — to enjoy the blessings of society without 
the arduous weight of governmental matters to disturb my peace. You, 
mv dear Sir, I honor and respect for your stability and firmness, and, as 
one of the community, I thank you for your wisdom and advice to my 
country. Truly sensible I am that you have sunk a fortune and ex- 
posed a large family to danger of being ruined, only by your close 
attention to the public. 

The fortune which the patriotic Weare "sunk" was rather 
in expectation than in possession ; but in 1754, when he went 
with another Portsmouth friend, older than himself, as Wen- 
dell was younger, Judge Theodore Atkinson, to the first 
American Congress at Albany, where they met Dr. Franklin, 
Hutchinson and Governor Shirley from Massachusetts, and 
young Thomas Pownall, who preceded Hutchinson and suc- 
ceeded Shirley as Governor of Massachusetts, Colonel Weare 
had as good a prospect as any of his colleagues of amassing 
a fortune. But in the French and Indian war, which at once 
followed the Albany Congress, and in the Revolutionary strug- 
gle that soon came on, Weare attended to the public business, 
and allowed his own affairs to remain as they were. The testi- 
mony of William Plumer, of the same Rockingham County, 
who entered public life under Weare, and succeeded him a 
quarter-century later as governor, is even more emphatic than 
Wendell's, inasmuch as Plumer was apt to record the faults of 
men with more relish than their virtues. He wrote of Weare 
in 1820 : 

From the Declaration of Independence to the close of the war, 
Judge Weare was invested, at the same time, with the highest offices, 
legislative, judicial and executive, and continued in them by annual 
elections. The various offices which he held, during the long period 
of forty-five years, made him not proud or haughty. They did not 
change his mind, manners, or mode of living : his old mansion house 
remained unpainted, its ancient furniture was still used, and he con- 
tinued to the last the same modest, unassuming man. From all his of- 
fices, and with all his prudence, he added not a cent to his property, — 
which at death did not exceed that of a good common farmer. 



I may add that Colonel Weare did paint the substantial 
house which he built for his eldest son, on the Shaw lands 
that had come to Samuel Weare from the estate of his grand- 
father and namesake, Deacon Samuel Shaw, and which, about 
one hundred years ago, became the property of my grandfather's 
brother, whose descendants still occupy it. This house, as I 
first remember it, still bore that faint colonial yellow tinge 
with which Colonel Weare had colored it for his son's occu- 
pation, I suppose, about 1760. But let us see with what books, 
and at what values, this New Hampshire Aristides carried on 
his public duties, and solaced his private hours. As listed and 
appraised by the officers of the Probate Court, his neighbors 
and kinsmen, this was the 

Library of the late President Weare. 

(Appraised value in lawful money and in dollars.) 

Books. Value in pounds. 

Wood's Institute, 1 16 

Raymond's Reports, 3 12 

Jacob's Law Dictionary, 1 16 

Foster's Crown Law, 1 4 

Privilege of Parliament, 1 

Reports by Will. Salkeld (2 vols.), 18 

New Hampshire Law-books, 10 

M. Dalton's Country Justice, 6 

Magna Charta, 1 

Matthew Poole on the Bible (2 vols.), 1 4 

Sherlock's Sermons (4 vols.), 16 

Caryl on Job (2 vols.), 12 

Religio Veterum (2 vols.), 6 

History of the Church (2 vols.), 4 6 

Charles Chauncy's State of Religion, 3 

Christian Life, 2d. vol. 1 6 

Old Bible, 1 6 

Church Prayer-Book (Latin), 1 

Benjamin Column's Sermons, 6 

Pemberton's Sermons, 1 

Hugo Grot ius (2 vols), 6 

Watts's Poems (2 vols.), 6 

Prideaux' History of Old and New Testaments, 3 

John Wilkins on Prayer, 1 6 

Reports (Prop. Gosp. In Foreign Parts), 2 


Books. Value in pounds. 

Thoughts on Religion, 6 
Cotton Mather's Manuductio ad Ministerium 

(Directions for a Candidate, etc.), 6 

Hist. Old and New Testaments, 4 

Sermons by Cuthbert Sydenham (17), 1 

Sermons and pamphlets, 1 4 

Latin, French and Hebrew books, 6 

Dremonologia Sacra (R. Gilpin), 1 

Young Man's Companion, 1 6 

Course of Letters on Church Catechism, 6 

Theron and Aspasia (1 vol.), 1 

Rollin's Ancient History (11 vols.), 1 16 

Locke's Works (2 vols), 2 

John Locke on Church Government, 1 

Alciphron, or Minute Philosopher (2 vols.), 6 

Buchan's Family Physician, 3 

Adams' Poems, 6 

The Chase (Somerville), 6 

Dialogues, 1 

Old Latin Dictionary, 1 

Character & Manners of the French (2 vols), 2 

Ladies' Library (1 vol.), 1 

History of the Reign of Q. Anne, 1 6 

Virgil (English) (1 vol.), 1 

Travels of Giuseppe Baretti, 6 

Clark's Lives, 6 
Journals of Congress (no value given), 

Total, £21 16 4 

About eighty-five volumes valued at £21.16.4, or about $72.00. 

These books and pamphlets are about equally divided be- 
tween law, politics, and divinity, with a few poems thrown 
in, and a slight sprinkling of Latin, French, and Hebrew, of 
all which languages Weare had some knowledge, the whole 
valued in 1786 at less than 880 ; although single volumes, 
offered for sale now, might bring half that sum. Mather's 
Manuductio sells, I think, for $20. Several other rare books 
are in the list, though they were not rare at that time. Many, 
no doubt, were presentation copies. The cost price of the 
whole may have been $120. Some of the books had been 
his father's or grandfather's. 


No full list of the library of President LangdoD exists, so far 
as I know. In his will, dated October 26, 1797, made, like his 
friend Weare's, but live weeks before his death, Dr. Langdon 
thus directed : 

It is my will that none of the Old Books of my Library he sold at 
Public Veudue, but when my children have selected such as will be 
most useful to them, the rest may be left with the Church as the be- 
ginning of a Library for my successors in the Ministry. 

Probably the original number of books and pamphlets ex- 
ceeded three hundred, and may have been five hundred. 
Those remaining in the parsonage during my boyhood were 
above two hundred ; but after removal to the new church, 
which saved them from being burnt in the parsonage, they were 
reduced in number by borrowings and by the church mouse, 
so that when I made the following catalogue, in August 1855, 
for Rev. Theodore Parker, of the Twenty-eighth Congregational 
Society in Boston, who purchased a few of them from Charles 
Newell Healey, a cousin of Mrs. C. H. Dall (then on the church 
committee at Hampton Falls), there were but ninety-five bound 
volumes and one hundred and forty-five pamphlets. Several 
of the latter were afterwards included in volumes. I have an- 
nexed to the titles the price offered by Mr. Parker for some 
works, but which he actually bought I cannot say. They are 
now, no doubt, if purchased by him, in the Boston Public 
Library. Few of Dr. Langdon's own works were in the col- 
lection fifty-four years ago ; but I picked up a few of those 
among his former parishioners. 

The Ministerial Library in 1855. 
1. Folios, English and Latin, with a few Greek Texts. 

In Librum Psalmorum Joannis Calvini Commentarius. Cum He- 
hrajo Latinoque Contextu. No title; date of preface, 1557. 

Beuedicti Aria? Montani Ilispalensis Commentaria in duodecim pro- 
phetas. Nunc tandem ah ipso auctore recognita. Autwerpiye ex Officina 
Christ. Plantini. 1583. 

Joannis Calvini Pnvlectiones in Librum Prophetiarum Jeremiae et 
Lamentationes. Joannis Budnei et Caroli Jonuillce labore et industria 
excerpUe. Tertia Editio. Genevan. Apud Hatred. Eustath. Vignon, 


Eicasmi, seu Meditationes J. Foxi in S. Apocalypsin. No titlepage. 
Dedicated to Archbishop Whitgift. For this T. Parker offered $1. 

An Exposition upon the Epistle to the Colossians. By N. Byfield. 
London, 1617. 

Acta Synodi Nationalis in Nomine Domini nostri Dordrechti habitae. 
Anno 1618 et 1619. Lugduni Batavorum. Typis Isaaci Elzeviri, 
1620. $1 offered. This was the famous synod of Dort. 

Harmonia Evangelica a M. Chemnitio inchoata, et per Polycarpum 
Lyserum continuata. Accessit Commentarius Johanuis Gerhardi. 
Geneva?. Hosred. Jacobi Berjon. 1628. 

Davidis Parei Opera Theologica. Praeflxa est Narratio Historica 
de Vita et Obitu D. Davidis Parei, conscripta a Phillippo Parei, 
D. F. Vtenit in Bibliopolo Hseredum Jona> Rosas. No date, but about 

Novum Testamentum sive Novum Fcedus, Cujus Grseco contextui 
respondent Interpretationes duas, una, vetus, altera, Theodori Bezas. 
Cum Bezae et Camerarii Annotationibus. Cantabrigian. Ex Officina 
Eog. Danielis. 1642. 

Discourses. Author unknown. Titlepage gone. 1400 pages. I 
think I recall as a boy that it was the work of the Puritan divine, Good- 
win, with this inscription : " This Book was left by the Rev'd Josiah 
Bayley for the use of those who tarry at the Meeting House between 
Meetings, to Read in if they are so Disposed." Mr. Bayley was a 
young minister from Newbury, who graduated at Harvard in 1752, and 
was settled at Hampton Falls in October 1757. He died there in 
1762 ; and this book must have been transferred from the old Meeting 
House near Colonel Weare's, to the newer one near Dr. Langdon's 
parsonage, built in 1769, where the retired President of Harvard be- 
gan to preach in 1780-81. A long quarrel over the two houses and 
parsonages was thus settled and peace again prevailed. 

A Modest Inquiry into the Mystery of Iniquity. By H. More, D.D. 
London, 1664. 

Exercitations upon the Epistle to the Hebrews. By J. Owen, D.D. 
London, 1674. 

An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews. J. Owen, D.D. 
Loudon, 1680. 

Discourses upon the Existence and Attributes of God. By Stephen 
Charnock. London, 1682. 

The Works of Stephen Charnock, D.D. Two Volumes. Portrait. 
London, 1684. 

Explication to the Catechism of the Church of England. Part I. 
By Gabriel Towerson. London, 1685. 

Explication of the Catechism of the Church of England. Gabriel 
Towerson. London^ 1688. 


Synopsis Criticorum AJiorumque S. Scripture, A Matt. Polo. Tomi 
V. Effigies. Francofurti ad Moenum, 1694. This was for a century 
the great Commentary, found in several languages; its English version 
in two volumes was in Colonel Weare's library. 

An Exposition of the Creed. Titlepage gone. (1700.) 

The Works of Dr. John Tillotson. Edited by Ralph Barker. Three 
Volumes. Portrait. London, 1712. 

A Body of Divinity. By Thomas Ridgley. Two Volumes. Por- 
trait. 1731. 

A Paraphrase and Notes on the Revelation of St. John. By Moses 
Lowman. London, 1738. 

The Holy Bible. Containing the Old and New Testaments, or a 
Family Bible with Annotations. By Samuel Clarke, M.A. Glas- 
gow, 1765. 

Apocalypsis Revelata. Amstelodami, 1766. 

Acts and Laws of His Majesty's Province of New Hampshire. Ports- 
mouth, 1771. D. and R. Fowle, Printers. 

In all, thirty -four folio volumes. 

2. Quartos, octavos, duodecimos, etc., many in Latin. 

Malleus Maleficarum. Auctore Jacobo Sprengeri. Venetiis, apud 
Johannem Antonium Bertonum. 15 [ ]. Part of date gone. This T. 
Parker bought for $1.25. It is a famous and abominable work against 

Institutio Christianas Religionis. Joanne Calvino Auctore. Lon- 
dini, 1576. 

The Summeof the Conference between John Rainolds and John Hart 
(1580 ?). Black letter. Titlepage and several leaves gone. 

Explicationes Catecheticae. Zacharias Ursini. Cantabrigise, 1587. 

Analysis Typica. Autore Mose Peluchon. Londini. Edmundus 
Bollifantus, 1597. 

Erasmi Colloquia. Latin. First six pages gone, no date, — very 

Terence (1600?), with a translation by C. H. on the opposite page, 
— a pony, no date. It had passed through several hands of students, of 
Isaac Greenwood, 1678, of John Bushell, 1733, and was given by Rev. 
Andrew Eliot (II. U. 1737) to Rev. Ebenezer Thayer, who graduated 
in 1753, and whose son-in-law, Rev. Jacob Abbot (H. U. 1792), must 
have given it to the Ministerial Library, he being the successor of Dr. 
Langdon in that parish. [This copy was shown at the November meet- 
ing, 1909.] 

A "Worke Concerning the Trunesse of Christian Religion : Against 
Atheists, Epicures, Paynims, Iewes, Mahumetists, and other Infidels. 
Written in French by Philip of Mornay, Lord of Plessie and Marly. 


Begunne to be translated into English, by that honorable and worthy 
Gentleman, Sir Philip Sidney, Knight, and at his request fiuished 
by Arthur Golding. Since which time, it hath been reviewed, and 
is the fourth time published, and purged from sundry faults escaped 
heretofore, through ignorance, carelessnesse or other corruption. Lon- 
don, Printed by G[_tor?ij 1617. This extremely curious book is im- 
perfect, having been gnawed by church mice in the pages following 
Chapter 33. It bears the autograph of Rev. Jabez Fitch, Dr. Lang- 
don's predecessor in the Portsmouth parish, and was given to Fitch by 
Rev. Robert Ward (H. C. 1719) the descendant of Nathaniel Ward 
who wrote the " Simple Cobbler." In England it seems to have be- 
longed to Isaac Kimber of Wantage, January 25, 16( ). The original 
French work was dedicated to Henry of Navarre before he came to the 
throne of France, by his Protestant Councillor, Duplessis Mornay, and 
in English to Henry, Prince of Wales by Thomas Willcocks in May 
1604. There is no reason to doubt that Sidney began this translation. 
He was five years younger than Du Plessis Mornay, but was his good 
friend, and when Duplessis was at the Court of Queen Elizabeth in 
1577-8, to seek her aid for the Protestant cause in France, Sidney, as 
well as his uncle Leicester and Francis Walsingham, urged the Protest- 
ant cause upon Queen Elizabeth. 

A Revelation of the Revelation. By Thomas Brightman. Imprinted 
at Amsterdam. 1615. 

Andrae Riveti Commentarii in Hoseamprophetam. Date gone ; date 
of dedication, 1625. 

Exercitationes Apologeticae pro Divina Gratia Samuelis Rhaetofortis 
(Rutherford) Amstelodami, 1636. 

Symphonia Prophetarum et Apostolorum. Authore D. M. Johanne 
Scharpio. Geneva? apud Petrum et Jacobum. No date. 

The Bloudy Tenent, washed. By John Cotton, Batchelor in Divinity, 
and teacher of the Church of Christ in Boston. London, 1647. 

Richard Baxter's Apology against the Modest Exceptions of Mr. T. 
Blake. London, 1654. 

Mr. Baxter's Aphorisms Exorized and Authorized. By John Cran- 
don. London, 1654. 

The Bar against free admission to the Lord's Supper fixed. By 
Roger Drake. London, 1656. 

A Treatise on the Sabbath. By Thomas Shepard. Date gone [1650]. 

The Doctrine of Life, or of Man's Redemption. By Edward Holy- 
oke of New England. London, 1658. 

A Chain of Scripture Chronology. By Thomas Allen. London, 1659. 

A Vindication of the Animadversions on Fiat Lux [of Vincent Canes.] 
By John Owen, D.D. London, 1664. 

Six Sermons of [Edward] Stillingfleet. London,, 1669, 



Two Letters of Advice. By II. I). Dedicated to James [Marget- 
son], bishop of Armagh. Dublin, 1G72. 

Samuelia Maresii Systema Theologicum. Groningae, apud Aemilium 
Spiuneker, Bibliopolam. 1073. 

Several Discourses concerning the actual providence of God. John 
Collinges, D.D. London, 1678. 

The History of the Damnable Popish Plot. London, 1681. 

Synopsis Purioris Theologioe. Lugduni Batavorum. Joannis et 
Daniel Elzevir. 1 682. 

Doron Medicon. Or a supplement to the new London Dispensatory. 
By William Salmon, Professor of Physick. London, 1683. 

Historia Conciliorum Generalium. Auctore M. Edmundo Richero, 
Doctore ac Soccio Sorbonico. Coloniae, apud Bernardum Helsingh, 
1683. Three volumes. 

Les Termes de la Ley ; or certain difficult and obscure words of the 
common law and Statutes of the realm now in use, expounded and ex- 
plained. French and English in alternate columns. London, 1685. 

History of the Doctrine and Worship of the Church. By Peter 
Jurieu. Two volumes, the first wanting. No date [1704]. 

Thomge Godwini Moses et Aaron, seu Civiles et Ecclesiastici Ritus 
antiquorum Hebrseorum. Ultrajecti, 1690. 

Treatise on Baptism. By Henry Danvers. First fifty pages gone. 

Plea for the Nonconformists. By Thomas Delaune. London, 1712. 

An Original Draught of the Primitive Church. By a Presbyter of 
the Church of England. London, ^717. 

A Vindication of the Dissenters. By James Peirce. London, 1718. 

History of the Apostles' Creed. London, 1719. 

Sermons on the Divinity of Christ. By Daniel Waterland. Cam- 
bridge, England, 1720. 

A Work on Jury Trials (1720 ?). For this T. Parker offered 50 

A Treatise on the Spleen and Vapors. By Sir Richard Blackmore, 
Kt. M.D. and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London. 
London, 1726. 

Atterbury's Sermons. Two volumes. London, 1726. 

A Vindication of Christ's Divinity. By Daniel Waterland. 4th 
edition. London, 1731. 

A Second Vindication of Christ's Divinity. By D. Waterland. 1731. 

Scripture Bishop Vindicated. By Eleutherius [Jonathan Dickinson], 
V. D. M. Boston, 1733. 

The Importance of the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity asserted in 
reply to some late pamphlets. By D. Waterland. 1734. 

Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of 
St. John. By Sir Isaac Newton. Dublin, 1735. 


The Doctrine of Predestination unto Life. By William Cooper, 
one of the pastors of Brattle Street Church. Boston, 1740. 

A Dissertation on the Civil Government of the Hebrews. Moses 
Lowman. London, 1740. 

A Defence of the Christian Revelation. By Gilbert West and the 
Hon. Geo. Lyttelton Esq. London, 1748. 

An Universal History. London, 1748. Four volumes out of twenty : 
11, 16. 19, 20. The whole twenty originally belonged to Dr. Langdon, 
but the volumes were taken by his children or friends. This is the work 
on which Gibbon feasted. 

A Defence of the Divine Right of Infant Baptism. By Peter 
Clark, A.M. Pastor of a church in Salem. Boston, 1752. 

The Communicant's Companion. By Matthew Henry. Glasgow, 

A Complete View of Episcopacy. By Charles Chauncy, D.D. 
Boston, 1771. 

Edwards on the Freedom of the Will. 

Cotton Mather's Manuductio ad Ministerium, the original edition, — 
the same small volume found in Colonel Weare's library. 

A Volume of books and pamphlets bound up together, containing a 
series of works, none later than 1 650. Among them were Edwin Sandys' 
" State of Religion in the Western Parts of the World," first edition of 
1605, now very rare; N. Ward's "Simple Cobbler of Aggawam in 
America," edition of 1647 ; Du Boscq's " Complete Woman" ; a work 
by Dudley Digges, and half a dozen papers issued by both sides in the 
Civil War of 1610-1650. This had belonged to a certain John Nid of 
Trinity College, and how it came into the Langdon library does not ap- 
pear. It became mine, and I broke it up into four or five volumes, some 
of which I have parted with. Counting these volumes, there were sixty- 
one smaller than folios, so that there were ninety-five volumes in the 
library in 1855. 

Pamphlets, sermons, etc. In some respects the most valuable part 
of the library to-day would be the brochures, had they been preserved, — 
at least one hundred and fifty in all. Among them were the original 
issues of Paine'* s u Common Sense " and " The Crisis "" ; five Orations 
on the Boston Massacre of 1770, — LovelPs, Church's, Hancock's, 
Warren's and Oliver Noble's; six Dudleian Lectures, — of 1763, 
1768, 1773, 1777. 1779, and 1793; eight Election Sermons, from 
1720 to 1779; four Artillery Election Sermons, — 1676, 1746, 1758, 
1774; President Stiles's Inaugural in Latin, " habita in Sacello Col- 
legii Yalensis " ; a dozen English and American political pamphlets, 
including those of Paine; and forty pamphlet Sermons, English 
and American, from 1666 to 1786; but none of Dr. Langdon's 


The Whitefield controversy, the Universalist controversy, the 
Sandemanian controversy, and many minor quarrels appeared 
in this large collection ; but it is doubtful if many of them 
have survived the neglect, the damps and the mice of half a cen- 
tury since 1 listed them. About forty of the volumes are now 
in the town library of Hampton Falls, but few or none of the 
pamphlets. Even before I examined them critically, much of 
this library had been lost, as well as a few additions made ; 
for at that time Dr. Langdon had been buried in the cemetery 
not far off, for nearly sixty years, and his parsonage, where the 
books were kept, had been occupied by at least a half-dozen 
families. Many of the pamphlets had valuable autographs on 
them, and some of the books were presentation copies. To 
make good the few volumes which I have received from this 
library, I presented the town with five hundred volumes 
in 1902, among which were more than half of my own 

Several of the children of Dr. Langdon were either scholars or 
the wives of scholars ; and no doubt they took those portions of 
the original library which contained the more modern literary, 
scientific and entertaining books. His son Paul Langdon was 
a schoolmaster in Fryeburg, Maine, some of whose descendants 
live now in Pembroke, Massachusetts. His son Richard finally 
removed to North Carolina, but left no children ; nor did Mrs. 
David Sewall, of York, his sister ; and the eldest son, Samuel, 
left only a daughter, whom I remember as a blind and aged 
spinster. The children of Dr. Langdon who did leave de- 
scendants were his son Paul, and his daughter Mary who 
married Dr. John Goddard of Portsmouth. The descendants 
of Paul, bearing the Langdon name, now live in California or 
Georgia, and are professional men. Paul himself was an active 
soldier in the Revolution, after graduating at Harvard in 1770. 
He was wounded at Bunker Hill, and helped turn the tide of 
battle at Monmouth. One of Paul's sons migrated to Wilming- 
ton, North Carolina, another to Wethersfield, New York, where 
Paul himself died in 1834, at the age of 82. The California 
Langdons are descendants of Paul's son Richard, and one of 
them called on me a few years ago, after graduating at Exeter 
and Harvard, and marrying; indeed, it was on his bridal tour 
that he visited Concord, where his ancestor had presided over 
Harvard College for a few months. Dr. Langdon's Portsmouth 

1909.] DAVENPORT-PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634, 1635. 45 

house, in which is one book from his library, has always be- 
longed to some descendant, and is now owned and occupied 
by Mrs. T. A. Harris, Dr. Goddard's granddaughter. 

The character of these two New Hampshire libraries is 
probably typical of most of the private libraries in New 
England during the eighteenth century. They were not so 
much general as professional ; they contained little poetry or 
fiction, and are distinguished, as Mr. Adams has pointed out, 
by the absence of Milton, of Shakespeare, and the other great 
English authors who might have been there. Colonel Weare, 
and doubtless Dr. Langdon, had the works of John Locke, 
and probably Dr. Langdon owned some edition of Bacon and 
of Paradise Lost. That he had a Shakespeare, I doubt. My 
grandfather, who owned a single volume of Shakespeare, as 
early as 1808, was probably the only parishioner of Dr. Lang- 
don who had read even so much as that ; and his volume was 
the gift of an artist friend from South Carolina, James Akin, 
who had seen John Bernard (Washington's guest at Mt. Vernon, 
in 1798) on the stage at Philadelphia, Boston and Newburyport. 
Judge Weare's associate on the New Hampshire bench, Judge 
Dudley of Raymond, had read some part of Shakespeare, and 
once quoted him effectively to the jury ; but literature was not 
the strong point of lawyers or clergymen in the Revolutionary 
period. Nor did they or the rich merchants collect books, as 
the fashion now is. John Hancock's library at Boston and 
Samuel Langdon's at Portsmouth, would probably make but a 
poor show compared with Thrale's the brewer's in London, or 
Franklin's in Philadelphia. Small as my own library is (some 
ten thousand miscellaneous volumes), it is probably larger 
than was that of Dartmouth College when Webster was there 
in 1802, or that of Amherst twenty years later. We now run 
to excess in libraries, public and private ; and come under the 
censure of old Hobbes, the philosopher of Malmesbury, who 
said, if he had read as many books as X. and Y., he should 
have been as ignorant as they were. 

In presenting copies of two tracts on John Davenport, Mr. 
Ford said : 

Writing in April, 1634, Griffin Higgs reported to the 
English Ambassador at The Hague : " Mr. Damport is still 
a Non-conformist to the Dutch Church, as well as to the 


English: in many points: one is the non-baptizing of In- 
fants, vnles he approve the parents faith, and life: where- 
vpon the Dutch ministers have silenced him, and (without 
Conformitie to their orders before the first of May) they doe 
peremptorily reject him." 1 This sums up the issue of a con- 
test between John Davenport and John Paget on the subject 
of infant baptism, and made it impossible for Davenport 
to remain in Holland. 

On reaching Holland Davenport began to preach in Mr. 
Paget's church, but soon found that he could not approve 
Paget's practices in infant baptism and raised objections to 
the loose ways pursued by the older pastor. The controversy 
was carried before the Dutch Classis of ministers of the city of 
Amsterdam, who appointed a committee to prepare a basis of 
settlement. " This committee of five of the most eminent 
theologians of Amsterdam delivered their judgment in January 
(a copy of which was transmitted to Laud, . . . ), in which, 
while commending Davenport's erudition and piety, and ap- 
proving his zeal in urging the examination of parents present- 
ing children for baptism, they yet leave a large loop-hole for 
doubtful cases, in which on the whole they would administer 
the ordinance. Davenport remonstrated, but Paget prevailed, 
and Davenport desisted from preaching after less than six 
months' service." 2 

William Best, of Amsterdam, without consulting or even 
informing Davenport of his intention, printed Davenport's 
argument delivered to the Classis on the subject in contro- 
versy, and added the instructions for the chosen elders of the 
English church to be laid before the Dutch pastors in Amster- 
dam. It is this tract which forms the first of the following 
reprints. So rare is it that when Mr. Dexter prepared his 
Bibliography of Congregationalism, only two copies were 
traced, one in the British Museum, and one in the Bodleian 
Library. From one of these he made a copy in manuscript 
for his own collection. Since that time a third copy has ap- 
peared, and is now in the Library of the Union Theological 
Seminary in New York. From this copy the photograph of 
the titlepage was taken. 

1 Proceedings, xui. 232. See also xin. 342-344. 

2 Franklin B. Dexter, " Life and Writings of John Davenport," New Haven 
Colony Hist. Soc. Papers, n. 223. 

1909.] DAVENPORT-PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634, 1635. 47 

Even Davenport resented somewhat the manner of publica- 
tion, and showed his feeling by issuing a " Protestation," — 
the second of the following tracts. This is even rarer than 
the " Ivst Complaint," only one copy being known, and that is 
in the Bishop Williams Library, London. The controversy 
was continued by Best, Paget, and Davenport, but enough of 
personal history is contained in the two tracts now printed. 1 

A Ivst Com- | plaint against | an Vniust Doer. | Wherein | Is de- 
clared the miserable slaverie & bondage that | the English Church of 
Amsterdam is now in, by | reason of the Tirannicall government and | 
corrupt doctrine, of Mr. Iohn Pagett | their present Minister. | The j 
Which things are plainly manifested in two certein letters, | the one 
written by Mr. Iohn Davenport to the [ dutch Classis, the other given 
vp to the English | Consistorie by some of the brethren. With | other 
briefe passages tending to | the same effect. | Published by one that 
much pitties them and prayes | dayly for their deliverance, j . . . Printed 
Anno 1634. 2 


The same reason, which constrayned me to write in latin to the 
classis, doth now compell me to translate what I then wrote for the 
satisfaction of the members of the English Church, as then I did not 

1 In his " Fore-speach " to " The Churches Plea for her Right," printed in 
1635, Best says of this publication of the Davenport Papers : " Moreover I con- 
ceive that it lay upon me (though the meanest of my Brethren) to reply ; con- 
sidering that the Booke of Complaints was set forth chiefly by my meanes. Now 
my conscience for my part beares me witnes, that I did the thing, out of love 
towards God, his truth and people; and not (as is falsely suggested) of conten- 
tion and a peeuish mind. And I was thereto mooved the sooner, 1. Because the 
same was in many mens hands already, and so rather publicke than private. 
2. We had waited almost a quarter of a yeare for answer, but could not ob- 
taine it, although Mr. Paget was spoken unto, many times about it. 3. It was 
given out, that hee had writen 12 or 15 sheets of paper against us, and intended 
shortly to acquaint the world therewith : when this report was brought unto me, 
I thought it requisite (having the copies by me) immediately to publish them : 
that so (seeing hee would publikely write in confutation thereof) men might truly 
understand, what our particular grieveances were. And these causes of great and 
good regard, led me to doe, what I did." He was a Deacon in Paget's church, 
but Paget proclaimed him to be a man "that have given great offence, and am 
become an evill example unto many, by the open violation of the Sabbath in 
mine [Best's] owne house, and by resorting unto the assembly of the Remon- 
strants, and have bene admonished by him in the name of the Eldership, and 
have justly deserved farther Censure." 

The titles of this continuation of the controversy are numbered 616, 617, and 
623 in Dr. Dexter's " Collections toward a Bibliography of Congregationalism." 

2 Best says the printer was an English printer. — " Churches Plea," 2. 


write to them till Mr. Pagets misreport of my opinion (touching the 
promiscuous baptising of all Infants that are presented thereunto) both 
to the dutch Preachers and others made it necessary: So I have for- 
borne to translate the same, 3. months together, till by injurious 




Wherein ' 

Is declared the miferable flavcrie & bondage that 

chefcnglifh Church of Amfterdam is now in, by 

reafon of the Tirannicall government and 

corrupt do&rinc , of Mr. Iohn Pagett 

their prefent Minifter. 


Vhich things ate plainly maniferted in two ccrtein letters* 

the one written by Mr. Iohn Davenport to the 

dutch Claffisjthe other given vp to the Engltfh 

Confiftorie by fome of the brethren. "With 

other briefe paflages tending to 

the fame effect. 

Published by one that much pitties them and prayes 

dayly for their deliverance. 

Math. i$.r/. 

Woe unto you Scribes andPharifes bypocritestforyeflMt vp the 
Kingdom of heaven again]} men : for ye neither goe injoftr' 
felves, neither fuffer ye them that are entyingtogo in. 

Son. 1. 1 j. 

Take vs the foxes the litle foxes thatfpoile the vine. 

Gal.;, n. 

/ Wiould they Vverecven eat off which trorslkyiv. 

Printed Anno xtfJ4« 

speaches of Mr. Pagette concerning that writing, both in the consistory, 
and to severall persons, I have been often provoked thereunto, for peace 
sake I have desisted, and purposed to sit still, but I may not let the 
truth suffer, by my silence, for any mans sake, neither am I so weake 
to be affrighted with great words, or to forsake a truth, because some 
men say it is an errour — I have said little in comparison of what I 
have to say, when I am constrayned to say more, I shall she we the 
reason, why I have hitherto sayd so little. Be assured that this Eng- 

1909.] DAYENPORT-PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634, 1635. 49 

lish coppie, is a true translation out of the latin, and whatsoever I 
wrote in Latin, is a true report of things as they passed, time will shew 
that I have been more favourable in the reporte than I had cause to 



It doth greive me not without cause, Excellent and learned men, 
reverend brethren, that our first meeting happeneth to be in a way 
of dispute, which that it might have been pleasing and peaceable by 
the full agreement of our opinions, was my cheife desire : yet my full 
perswasion of your (not humauitie only but allso) brotherly affection 
towards me, doth somewhat mittigate that sorrowing, in confidence 
whereof I will briefly relate to your prudence (reverend brethren) with 
all due reverence, the cause of the slow proceeding of my confirmation 
in the ministry, whereunto I seemed to be called. 

The calling it selfe I professe my selfe to accept willingly, though not 
without trembling, and am very readie to discharge that office as I am 
able : but some things have happened betweene the call, and my confir- 
mation, beyond my expectation, for 

1. First I vnderstand that both the worthy brethren, Pastors of the 
dutch Church, and the reverend Mr. Pagett, did propound, and ap- 
poynt, as a condition of my admittance, that I should conforme to the 
orders and customs, of the dutch Church, whereas I doe not yet vnder- 
stand, what those orders and customs are, for which cause, I pro- 
pounded to the consistory of the English Church, that some convenient 
time might be given me, rightly to informe my selfe concerning those 
canons and customs of the dutch Church, and concerning the state of 
this English Church, before I should, by taking upon me this Pasto- 
rall office, binde my selfe to either of them, this the consistory not only 
judged equall — but allso with one consent concluded [2] that it should 
be so ; Mr. Pagett only excepted, who would not agree with them in 
that matter, without consent of the Classis : whereas nevertheles, the 
Power of every particular Church, is cheife in its owne particular 
matters, (or in things which are proper to it selfe) as a Synod hath the 
cheife power, in things that are common to many Churches, witnes 
Cham. Cent. Bell. lib. 2. With whom agree the canons of these 
Churches, as appareth in the Harmony of the dutch Synods, where it is 
decreed that only such things, shall be brought unto the Classis, which 
can not be ended in the consistory. Chap. 7. Art. 6. As that which 
can not conveniently, be decided by the Classis shall be brought into 
the Provinciall Synod. Chap. 8. Art. 6. 

Secondly it was required of me that I should conforme, unto a 
particular custom of the dutch Church for the unlimited Baptisinge of 
all infants, which were presented in the Church, of what nation or Sect 



soever, all though that either of the parents were christians, was no 
otherwise manifest, then by their (all) answering yea, at the reading of 
the leiturgy of baptisme publickly, or by nodding their head, or some 
Other gesture, they seemed to be willing to answer. 

First 1 neither did nor doe deny, to baptize their Infants who are 
members of this Church, which seing it is so, I desire to understand by 
what right, the Pastour of any particular Church, can be bound to 
exercise his ministry in any act of it, towards those who are not mem- 
bers of his Church, seing the Apostle Paul required no more of the 
Pastors of Ephesus, then to take heed to themselves, and to all the 
flocke, whereof the holy Ghoste hath made them ouerseers. Act. 20. 
28. The same is required of Archippus, to take heade to the ministry 
which he had received of the Lord, (viz. amongst the Collossians) [3] 
that he fulfill it. Col. 4. 17, as allso Peter exhorteth the Elders, saying, 
. feed the flocke that is amongst you 1 Pet. and 2. If it 

be objected that all that are under the Classis of Amsterdam, 
ought to conforme to the custom of the dutch Church in Amsterdam. 
I answer that, even for that reason, the English Church 
ought not to be bounde thereunto, it being not nessessary to 
require it of them, seinge that the dutch Church — (which is in the same 
cittie) refuseth none, but baptiseth all that are brought, without differ- 
ence, especially, 2. lie. Seing that the Pastor of the English Church, 
can not satisfie his conscience, that it is lawfull for him so to doe, yea he 
greately feareth — least Christ will Iudge him guilty, if he suffer him- 
selfe to be in bondage under such a custom, which is contrary to the 
canon of the Apostle, let every man be perswaded in his owne minde. 
Rom. 14. 5. and whatsoever is not of faith is sinne. verse 23. 

Secondly in regard of the communion of particular Churches amongst 
themselves, I neither did nor doe refuse to Baptise their Infants, who 
are not members of this Church : So that I may be satisfied, by some 
precise P^xamination, if otherwise they be vnknowne to me, that they 
are Christians in deed. 

When Mr. Pagett asked me, what Questions I would propound, to 
such as are not members of this Church — nor otherwise knowne to 
me ? I answered, I will inquire of what religion they are of, and of 
what Church they are members, and concerning that fayth (which they 
seeme to professe & wherein they promise to educate their Children. 
It seemes to me that herein, Mr. Pagett dealt extremely with me, in that 
he rejected all my labour, for a peaceable composing, prudent accomo- 
dating, and brotherly ending of matters betweene him and me privatly, 
or by the counsell of the Elders of his owne Churche, nor would hearken 
to my advise for accomodation [4] without consent of the Classis. 

At laste the matter was brought to five eminent brethren, Pastors of 
the dutch Church : Who being desired (as it is sayd) by some of the 

1909.] DAYENPORT-PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634, 1635. 51 

elders of this Church, that they would indevour to inclyne, Mr. Pagett 
to some freindly agreement herein, upon Mr. Pagetts request alone did 
in writing declare their private Iudgment in this question, yet therein 
they professed, that they very much approved, of my good zeale, and 
care concerninge the private examination of the parents or Suertyes of 
such infants, before the child should be baptized, and that the foresayd 
examination, ought to be ordayned, as farre as it might stand with the 
edification of the English Church : (having thus sayd, they add after- 
wards) but if the parents or suertyes shall refuse to be examined, or if 
for the shortness of time, or for other lust cause, it can not be done, or, 
if, when they doe come they shall not seeme to give satisfaction, to the 
Iudgment of him that examineth them, the infants whose parents or 
suertyes, appeare to be Christians, and who doe professe the Christian 
religion, at the reading of the Leiturgie of baptisme, publickly before 
the Church, shall not for that cause be sent away, without baptisme. 

The day following, Mr. Pagett asked me, whether I would rest in 
the writing of the 5 Ministers ? To whome I answered, the writers 
themselves doe not require this of me and for ought I can see it would 
give them content, if an order be made in consistory to put an ende to 
this controversie. But if any marvell, why I did not rest in that writ- 
ing, I will tell the reasons, for by what right could it be exacted or 
expected that I should rest in the writing, when first the wryters them- 
selves professed that it was but their owne privat judgment. Secondly, 
this their privat judgment was nakedly propounded, without any proof e 
from the word of God, whose prerogative it is to be rested in, for its 
owne Authoritie. [5] 

Thirdly such a subjection, is greater then may be yeilded vnto any 
counsell, whether of classis, or Synods, and where it hath been granted 
or suffered, it hath been the cause of many mischeifs in the Church, for 
thereby the writings and decrees of men are made infallible, and equall 
with the word of God, which is intolerable. Fourthly those reverend 
brethren, take the word christian more largely then I, for they account 
all christians which professe christian religion at the reading of the 
leiturgy of baptisme publickly, before the Church, though it be done 
only in one word, yea or by bowing the head or body, when they 
say nothing, yea some of them goe so farre, that they hould that the 
very offering of the child to Baptisme, giveth it a right thereunto, 
though the parents be not christians, because (they say) it maybe their 
grandfather or great grandfather were Christians, and another adds (if 
my memory fayles not) that infants are holy in the roote, if they be 
borne where the Gospell is preached. But I take the name of Chris- 
tians (in this question) in the same sense wherein the multitude of 
beleevers in Antiochia, were called Christians. Act. 11. 21. 26. So 
that I account them to be christians children whose parents, at least one 


of them, in external! profession, is within the Covenant. Gen. 17. 10. 
Faithfull, Rom. 4.11. Called. Act. 2.39. Toyned to some true Church: 
1. Cor. 5. 12. Because the scale of the covenant belongs only to those 
in the covenant — nor can a man be judged to be ill the covenant, with- 
out faith, nor to have faith unlesse he be called, nor to be called, unles 
he be taken off, from the world, and joyned to the congregation of the 
faithful! : whereunto agree the divines of the dutch Church in their 
confessions, and all the reformed Churches, in the harmony of confes- 
sions, read allso, Spe. contr. Pelag. Act. 28.34. Kuchl. de baptism. 
Thes. 15. Dr. Ames. cas. Con. Cap. 27. to conclude, all divines agree 
in this. [6] As for that which is objected, concerning particular cases 
that may happen — that which Beza writes in his Epistle to the minis- 
ters of Neocomum, or Perkins, or Ames, in their cases, or the Professors 
I oi • of Leyden, in their Theses, makes nothing against my opin- 
cas. con: ion, if they be taken in a good sence, and made to agree 

An " with the Patern of wholesom words. 
The consequence, which some object, for the avoyding whereof, they 
2. Obi. would have infants, thus promiscuously to be baptized, doe 
An. not trouble me, because I have learned of the Apostle that 

evill is not to be done that good may come thereof, yet in the interim, 
consider brethren, whether it be lawfull to drive the Pastor from the 
flock, that strangers may enter into the fold, or to make the Pastors call- 
ing voyd, for their sakes, that are uncalled, or to hinder the making of a 
covenant betweene the Pastor and his people, because he dare not give 
the seale of the covenant to those that are not in the covenant, or to 
remove the Porter from the dore of the Lords house that the gentiles 
may be suffered to enter into the Temple? yea to briuge a detainment 
upon the English Church for so smalle a matter, as this seemeth to you 
to be, and not to regard how much the conscience of your brother is 
indangered, so your customs may be established : neither is this to be 
sleighted, that, vnles we be thus difficult in this cause, parents that 
joyne themselves vnto no Church will content themselves in that 
estate, and live, and dy libertines, if they may have the Privileges of 
the Church, as if they were members, which who seeth not what an 
occation of error, and destruction, it may be both to parents and 
children, so that I can not be perswaded but that in that cause, the 
conscience is not at all indangered, by denying baptisme, but by 
baptizing such very much. 

Concerning the troubles, which some object may arise in the English 
Church, vpon this occasion, which [7] allso one applied to 
me, as if I should be judged to be the author o[f] them. I 
propounded to you (reverend brethren) to the English Church, yea, to 
the whole christian world to judge, who shalbe accompted 
the cause thereof, whether he that peaceably and privatly 

1909.] DAYENPORT-PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634, 1635. 53 

and quietly, desireth to be satisfied in the things whereof he doubteth, 
or they that imperiously deny him convenient time for that purpose, 
and doe bind him to such orders and customs, as he can not thinke to 
be equall. 

Afterwards, without the desire or consent of the consistory, the 
matter was brought into the Classis, they confirmed the writing of 
the five ministers, and decreed that conformity thereunto should be 
required of me as a condition whereupon I should be admitted : but I 
desired the reverend brethren earnestly ; not to binde me to that con- 
dition, seing that, first, that practise, is grounded upon no authoritie of 
God's Word. 

Secondly, nor upon any canon of any Synod. 

Thirdly, nor is required of any one to be chosen to the Pastorall 
office, as a condition of their admittance, in any reformed Church. 

4. lie. This practice is not so absolute, or unlimited in any Churches, 
as it is required of me. 

5. lie. It is propounded — as a greivance in many Dutch Churches, 
from whence they would be delivered and freed if they could. 

6. lie. It is manifest that the noble and learned Polonian Ioannes 
Alasco Baron and Superintendent of the Church of Strangers of Lon- 
don, 1 in the reigne of Edw. 6th. Did obtain and that under the broad 
seale of England, liberty not to baptize any such (as) against whom I 
except, which libertie your Dutch Church doe now injoy vnder our 
most mighty Kinge Charles, and is not in any thing bound unto any of 
the canons of the Church of England. [8] 

Nevertheles Mr. Paget propounded to me»in the consistory .that I 
should consider and conclude with my selfe, when I should give my 
last answer, whether I would promise to baptize all infants, that should 
be presented to baptisme, refusing none, unto which question, the next 
weeke I gave (in the same place) this answer, I dare not promise to 
baptize all that shall be offered thereunto : Because the promise of 
doeing it, is a confession that the thing is lawfull to be done, which I 
doe not beleeve, yet, because I much prize your love, and desire your 

1 John Laski, or A Lasco, was born in Poland in 1499, educated in Cracow 
and the University of Bologna, and early reached prominent office in church af- 
fairs, though suspected of free-thinking and reforming tendencies. While settled 
at Emden, in East Frisia, he came out as a reformer of the Swiss school, and in- 
troduced the naming of four laymen from the congregation to assist the minister 
in the regulation of discipline, and the assembly of ministers, meeting at Emden 
weekly from Easter to Michaelmas to examine into the life and doctrine of its 
members. On the invitation of Cranmer he came to England to attend a confer- 
ence, and later (1550) was appointed superintendent of the London church of 
foreign Protestants, organizing his church on the presbyterian model, and he 
" must be regarded as the founder of the presbyterian form of church govern- 
ment " in England. An account of his active and varied career is to be found in 
the Dictionary of National Biography, xxxn. 158. 


peace, I will, if you desire it, continue assisting Mr. Paget a convenient 
time, such as we shall agree MpOD, wherein I may make my selfe 
knowne hetter to the Dutch Pastors, and obtayne that, by their 
mean 68, this question may be layd aside, and your Church may 
obtaine liberty therin, and I may more fully understand the other 
Customs of the Dutch Church and the state of this Churche. This 
proposition was cheerfully imbraced by the Elders, who consulted 
about allowing a years time for this purpose, whereunto I hope, you, 
reverend brethren, will assent, which if you do, it shalbe my part to 
endeavour, that neither you may repent of your benevolence, nor the 
magistrats of their indulgence, but that many thankes may be given, 
both to you and them, both by Mr. Paget, and by the English Church, 
by him, for the continuance of an Assistant (such a one as he is) & 
by it for the preservation of peace amongst them which all desire, 
wherunto I pray God to give his blessing, and to inrich you, reverend 
brethren, with the spirit of wisdom, Christian prudence, and the fear of 
God, that you may well order this busines. So prayeth 

Iohn Davenport Englishman Bachelour 
of divinitie in Oxford. At present, a 
Stranger in Amsterdam. [9] 

Let the reader judge, what I could say less, or more mildly, beinge 
to give an account of the passages in such a busines? or what passage 
herein might justly be thought offencive, considering the premises? 
And who would not have thought, that the Classis would have ap- 
proved of the desire of the Consistory, that a years time should be 
granted me, for the ends aforesayd? yet on the contrary, they seemed 
to be offended at the writing, threatened to complayn to the Magistrats 
and after much debate, concluded, that I shall have but a monthes 
time, in which if I doe not answere, categorically that I will conforme 
to the orders and customs of the dutch Church, and to this, particularly 
in question, restinge in the judgment and resolution of the 5. dutch 
Preachers, and joyne with the Classis, or voluntarily desist, they will 
complayne to the Magistrats, &c. What remained now to be done, but 
either voluntary desistance on my part, or violent rejection, on theirs? 
in this month allso Mr. Paget, both in publick and in privat, shewed 
his aversenes from my joyning with him more then formerly, wherfore 
to prevent disturbance in the Church, and further disquietment of my 
self upon serious consideration and good advise I voluntarily desisted, 
and left the ensuing Coppie therof in Lattin and English, with the elders, 
with this liberty, either to shew or conceale the same, as they should 
judge it most expedient, intreating them in these words, or in 
words tending to this purpose, to expresse my resolution to the 
Classis. [10] 

1909.] DAYENPORT-PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634, 1635. 55 


delivered to the Elders of the English Church deputed, 

which are to be propounded to the Pastors of the Dutch 

Church in Amsterdam. 

First, the reverend brethren, Pastors of the Dutch Church under the 
Classis of Amsterdam, are to be intreated not to accuse Mr. Davenport, 
as the cause of this trouble, that that particular question concerning 
baptisme. between Mr. Paget is brought unto them, which by his will, 
should have been privatly ended betwen themselves, and the brethren 
should not have been troubled, more then was necessary with such 
questions, who have matters of greater moment to take care for in 
their classicall meeting. 

Secondly, let them be 'certified that, for many weightie reasons, 
Mr. Davenport can not rest in that writing of the five brethren, whose 
judgment nevertheles, he doth very much esteeme, concerning which 
matter (though he hath much to say, yet passing by other things) this 
alone he professeth at present, that his judgment is, that Dr. Ames, 
his opinion herein is most agreeable vnto the word of God, who in the 
4th booke of his Cases of Conscience. Chap. 27. Concerning baptisme, 
(having affirmed that it is necessary that the Infants to be baptized be 
in the covenant, in externall profession, and estimation, in their parents, 
and that there is hope, that they shalbe instructed, and educated in that 
covenant afterwards, and that at least one of the parents is within the 
Church, not out of it, doth conclude, that their negligence can by no 
meanes bee excused, who doe [11] promiscuously admit to baptisme 
whosoever is offered and by whomsoever. 

Thirdly, let them understand, that Mr. Pagets former delayes in this 
busines of Mr. Davenports call, and his stifnes in that question concern- 
inge baptisme, without yealding any brotherly moderation to Mr. Dav- 
enport, so much as to beare with him in so small a matter, (as this 
seemed both to them and to him to be) and to take vpon himselfe that 
which he can doe (if occasion require, with full persuasion,) but Mr. 
Davenport can not doe with inward peace, and his rejecting all Mr. 
Davenports endeavours for a peaceable composing and ending of this 
difference privatly betweene themselves, or with the counsell of the 
Elders of his Church, and certeine sharpe and biting Sermons preached 
by him, of late, and his privat conferences with certeine persons doe 
abundantly demonstrate, that Mr. Paget hath no desire that Mr. Daven- 
port should be his Colleague, but doth indevour the hinderance, rather 
then the furtherance thereof. 

Lastly. Seing peace and a greement between the Pastors doth much 
conduce to the edification of the Church, and seing that (for the reasons 
aforesayd) there is no hope of peace and Christian concord betwen them, 


Mr. Davenport being studious of the peace of the Church, his mind is 
wholy turned from taking upon him the office of Pastor in the English 
Church, in this cittie, and doth voluntarily desist from his publicke min- 
istry in this place, and doth commend vnto God the brethren in every 
good worke, and commit himselfe wholy to the only wise father, to be 
disposed elsewhere, as it shall please his infinit wisdom, to his owne 
glory. [12] 

April 28, An. 1634. 
THAT THESE INSTRVCTIONS were written by himselfe, and 
by himselfe delivered to the Elders deputed, he witnesseth, by subscrib- 
ing his name, Iohn Davenport. 

Though I have deserved better usage at Mr. Pagets hands for all- 
most 6. Months assistance of him, and have done and suffered so much 
to preserve his peace, and the Churches, which if I had not exercised 
much patience and industry, would certeinly have fallen from him, 
being overburdened with the losse of so many men, so much desired by 
the congregation, and other passages, which I will for the present spare 
to mention, Mr. Paget not content with former Injuries addeth these 

First he sayth & reporteth, that he hath often desired to dispute or 
confer with me about this poynt, but that I refused it: whereas he 
knoweth we were in continuall discourse about it diverse weekes, before 
others knew of the difference, neither should it ever have ben knowne, 
if any brotherly love had wrought in him, or my advise and desire 
might have prevayled. In this time there passed 2. or 3. serious con- 
ferences between us, wherein this poynt was disputed, which I have 
in writing by me, nor did I ceasse till he gave over, and sayd, that 
seeing his judgment could not prevayle with me, he would leave it now 
to the dutch Preachers, to see if they could prevayle with me ; from 
which I disswad[ed] earnestly, but in vayne, at last he tould me that 
he would speake with me alone no more about those matters, from that 
time I have ceased to come to his house. 

Secondly, he reported that I am gone from my promise, for I sayd, I 
would rest in the writing of the five ministers, but now I will not, 
whereas he knoweth [13] that from the first to the last, himselfe never 
heard me speake any such word, and the night before they went to the 
Magistrates for their consent to my call, he apprehended my answer 
rightly, and tould the Elders that he perceived that I did not rest in 
that writing of the 5 Ministers, further then it made way for an order to 
be made in the consistory, whereat he shewed himselfe discontented. 

But one of the Elders sayd so in the consistory. That 

' . ' elder denieth that he sayd so, and knoweth that I sayd 

otherwayes to him, that which he sayd, (as I am informed) 

1900.] DAYENPORT-PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634, 1635. 57 

was only to quiet Mr. Paget, and therfore told him that some part of 
that writing with an order to be made in consistory, being ioyned to- 
gether, would settle things, which is farre from an intimation of any 
purpose in me to conforme therunto. 

But Mr. Paget would not have gone else to the Magistrate, 
~An ' if he had not understood it to be so ? 

It hath been often cleared, that he misunderstood that 
elder, if he so vnderstood him, and if he would not upon other termes 
have gone to the Magistrate, the whole congregation and I am the 
lesse beholden to him. 

But he did goe to the Magistrat, and at a time when he was not very 

stronge, and when he came home tould his wife rejoycing, that now the 

busines is ended, which he would not have done, if he had 

not so understood it, and if he had not desired to have Mr. 

Davenport for his colleague. 

Vpon his going to the Magistrate, the busines was not ended, for the 
Magistrate shewed himselfe unsatisfied, concerning the cause of my 
comming over, wherin how little he spake to give satisfac- 
tion is evident, yea, what he answered, might serve rather 
to increase the suspition, that beinge ended, and the Magistrats satisfied 
by other meanes, it was so brought about by one of the Dutch Preachers 
interposing, that the Magistrats gave but a [14] conditionall consent to 
my call, and made my conformity to this custom of promiscuous baptis- 
inge, the condition therof, so that now matters were in a worse state 
than before. It is apparent that if Mr. Paget was at that time content 
to have me joyne with him, it was but conditionally, that I would doe 
whatsoever he, or the Classis would have me, upon which termes he is 
content to have others, whom he hath no cause to desire for colleagues 
with him. 

But Mr. Davenport did purpose to yeald, when he came 
from England else why would he come over having seene 
the questions that were put to Mr. Hooker ? 

He saw the questions in London, above a yeare before his comming 
over, when he was farre from any thoughtes of comming to Amsterdam, 
or to any place out of his owne land, and when he did come 
over he professed, both in England, and here, that he came 
but for 3 or 4 months, for which time, what need was there of his 
knowing, much lesse practising or conforming to the customs of the 
Dutch Church, and when he did consider of that question as it was 
put to Mr. Hooker, there was not either in the question or answer, 
sufficient light to informe him of that, which time hath discovered 
herein, neither can any man from thence, know what in this custom is 
to be disliked. 



. _ . But Mr. Pa., did so much in that busines, that he sayth, 
5. Obi. . , . . 

if that were to doe agayne he would not doe it, which 

sheweth that at that time he desired to have you. 

If ever he did desire me, I have given him no cause to 

repent of it, but to desire it more, vnles he takes offence 

at this, that I dare not venture vpon doeing that which I account un- 

lawfull, or at this, that I report the truth of things as they passed when 

I am provoked thervnto. 

But it seems to me that he never did desire it, for these reasons. 1. 
bec[ause] before I came hither, when he heard I was to come over, he 
preached publickly against my resigning up my place, which afterward 
he justified, when I related to [15] him the cause therof, the carriage 
therin, and the consent of many worthy devines, and of the congrega- 
tion it selfe therunto. 

Secondly because severall times he shewed his dislike of my com- 
ming hither, without his desire or consent in sending for me, though it 
is apparent that God sent me hither at a needfull time, when without 
me they would have been destitute, he being unable to preach, or to 
come to the Church. 

Thirdly, because he delayed the calling of me so long, that the Elders 
began to be impatient of his delayes, for what reasons he best 

4. lie, because as soone as he found my Iudgm[ent] differing in this 
poynt from his practice, he discovered how litle he desired me, by refus- 
ing all meanes of accomodation, though by them the difference might 
have been hid, and peremptorily resolving to have it brought into the 
Classis, though I tould him it would make matters worse, he pretended 
he might not doe otherwise, though some of the Dutch Preachers, sayd 
it might be best ended in the Consistory, and wished it might be so, 
and approved of what I had sayd to Mr. Paget, that matters would be 
worse else : For it is unlikely that the Classis would make an order 
in favour of me to condemn their owne customes. 

5. lie. He pressed earnestly to have Mr. Balmford of the Hage, 
though he gave him the same answer to the question which I had done 
before I came into these parts — and since hath nominated Mr. Roe 
of Flushing — though he in answer to a letter which Mr. Paget sent 
to him concerning this matter professed himselfe to be of my judgment. 

6. lie. Because he hath allways so much urged to have one that 
hath lived some years in this country, and hath hitherto opposed diverse 
worthy men that have come immediatly from England, my hope is at 
an end, and I must ceasse. 

Iohn Davenport. [16] 

1909.] DAYENPORT-PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634,1635. 59 


of the burtkened and oppressed members of the English Church in 
Amsterdam. Anno 1634. The 18. of October. 

Whereas offence hath beene taken, that some of us whose names are 
underwritten, did absent our selves, from the Lords Supper the last 
communion day, we thought good to give the reason of our absences in 
writeing, with our names subscribed therunto, being willing to beare 
our blame, if it shalbe proved to us out of the Word of God, that we 
have sinned in so doeing ; for which we confesse that the cause thereof 
was no contempt or sleight account of the Lords Supper, the free injoy- 
ment whereof in a right manner, we account an especiall priviledge, 
and whatsoever hindereth us from it a very grievous affliction. 

In which respect we are the more deeply, and inwardly greived with 
the sinfull proceedings of Mr. Iohn Paget, which deprived us of so 
great a comfort at that time, for howsoever we doe not thinke that the 
personall sin of any man can defile the ordinance of God to us, if we be 
meete and fitte to partake thereof, yet we know that a man may make 
himselfe partake of other mens sinnes, by neglecting his duty, in seek- 
ing reformation, and so communicate unworthily. 

Wherefore having waited that something should have beene done by 
others in this case, but in vaine, we durst not approach to the Lords 
table till we had in some measure discharged our dutyes in this particu- 
lar, which we thought we should have a fitt opportunity to doe, when 
w r e [19] * should be called upon, to shew the reasons of our absence at 
that time, which formerly we could not obtaine. 

We conceive that Mr. Paget doth administer the Lords Supper to 
us by vertue of his pastorall office wherunto he hath beene called in 
this Church. And that amongst communicants, especially Pastour and 
People, there should be an union in Christian love and affection, and 
communion in all the fruits thereof, one whereof is seasonable admoni-. 
tion, which in case of publick scandall and offence, must be publick, as 
we conceive it is in this present case, which we would have borne, if 
the injury had beene but personall to any one of us, and covered^ if it 
had beene a meere infirmity, or but a private offence, but seeing the 
matter is a publick injury, and obstinately persisted in, to the great 
dishonour of God & hurt of the Church, we are not to be silent any 
longer, but by these presents doe testify to all men, principally to you 
the Elders of this Church, that howsoever Mr. Paget beareth the name, 
filleth up the place, and doth many works of a Pastour amongst us, yet 
he doth not behave himself as becometh a Pastour, neither in govern- 
ment nor doctrine towards us. 

That he doth it not in government will appeare in these particulars, 
1 Error for 17. 


first he depriveth the Church of that liberty and power which Christ 
hath given it, in the free choyce of their Pastour, contrary to, Act. 6, 
3. and 14, 23. 

This we prove by his rejecting, and opposing of the most worthy 
servants of God (who came out of England for the same cause he 
did) whome the Church with one consent desired, as Mr. Hooker, and 
Mr. Davenport of later times, and also Mr. Parker, Dr. Ames, Mr. 
Forbes, Mr. Peters, &c. 

Secondly by his pressing others upon the congregation, abuseing 
his interest in the Magistrate and Classis to that purpose, to the un- 
speakeable injurye and grief of the Church, in which course he hath 
prevailed so farre, as to [20] * procure that none of our owne nation 
that com immediately from England, though never so fitt and able, 
should be admitted, but we must be forced to take one that can speake 
Dutch, and one in this country, though the Lord hath fought against 
his course hitherto by the great unfitnes of those who have preached 
here by his nomination or consent in sending for. 

Secondly, Mr. Paget depriveth the Elders of their power in Govern- 
ment, for the good of the Church, which will thus appeare. 

First when matters have beene referred to the Elders to determine, he 
hath rejected their counsel, and opinions, sometimes accusing them of 
partiality, sometimes of insufficiency to judge, when he thought they 
would conclude against his purpose. 

Secondly, when the Elders have declared their judgment with one 
consent, he hath protested against it, and caryed it to the Classis, though 
the matter hath beene such, as, seing it might have beene ended in the 
consistory, ought not to have beene brought thither, as, 

First, when the consistory agreed that an order should be made, that 
all that were not members of this Church should make themselves 
knowne to Mr. Davenport, that he might besatisfyed concerning them, 
before they should present their children to Baptisme in this Church, 
which order would have ended the difference betweene them, if it had 
taken place, but Mr. Paget protested against it. 

Sec. When the Elders agreed that Mr. Dav[enport] should have a 
years time to goe on in assisting Mr. Paget in preaching, to see if in 
that time he could procure that this question might be laid downe, and 
might be fully informed of all the orders and customs of the Dutch 
Church, wherunto Mr. Paget would bind him to conforme, as a con- 
dition wherupon he was to be admitted to the pastorall office in this 
Church, Mr. Pa[get] opposed this, as if the consistory could not have 
power to doe so much without the Classis, and many the like [19] things 
might be brought; as that the would not let Mr. Weles Preache whom 
he professed he had nothing against, without the leave of the Classis, &c. 

1 Error for 18. 

1909.] DAVENPORT- PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634, 1635. 61 

Thirdly, he subjecteth this Church under an undue power of the 
Classis. which he bringeth it under, meerely for his owne ends, as we con- 
ceive, without any warrant from the Word of God, as thus appeareth. 

First he giveth them power, to serve his ends in keeping off any Min- 
ister, whome he would have kept out, for causes pretended by himselfe, 
(though he would have had them that to this day hould the same opinion) 
though such as he keepeth out be knowne to be most eminent, able, and 
Godly men, and such as abhorre all heresye, and Scisnie; which he hath 
caused the Classis to execute upon Mr. Hooker and Mr. Davenport, 
which we are confident they would not have done but by Mr. Pagets 
suggestion to the great greife and hurt of the members of this Church. 

Secondly, he giveth them power to make lawes, and orders wherunto 
whosoever wilbe minister of this Church must submit, as to observe all 
the orders and customs of the Dutch Church, though some of them are 
such as the Ministers of the dutch, would cast-off if the vastnes of 
their Church (being but one in so great a city) did not force them 
thereunto ; of which the promiscuous baptizing of all that are brought 
without difference, or knowledge of them, is one ; for which Mr. 
Davenport is kept out of this Church, though there is no need of 
tying the minister of this Church to that custome, the congregation 
being small, and who can thinke that they would tye us so strictly to 
all their orders, when one of them said to Mr. Paget, (on occasion of 
his complaint in the Classis of Mr. Davenport not conforming to their 
orders) Why ? your selfe do not conforme to all our orders ; and cer- 
tainly they would all have [20] rejoyced, to have heard that all our 
differences had beene ended amongst our selves ; yea he hath of late as 
we heard, required of the Elders to make an order in the consistory, 
that whatsoever Minister shall hereafter be called to this Church, 
should conforme to a writing which he got 5. Dutch Ministers to 
make in his owne house about that question, and sent it to Mr. Daven- 
port, which we thinke no Godly man will absolutely be bound unto. 

Thirdly, he violently, without consent of any of the consistory, 
bringeth matters from thence, to the Classis, when he can not have 
his will injustly satisfyed, and so destroys the power of the Church 
utterly ; often answering, they can doe nothing in these cases without 
the Classis, of which we reverently esteeme for counsell and advice in 
all difficult matters, that can not be ended amongst our Consistory. 

Fourthly, under pretence of asking and taking advise of the Classis, 
he subjected the Church under their authority and power, as he calls 
it, tho the Church never acknowledged any such power to be due, as 
the scriptures in any place giveth not to such a company of Ministers, 
nor as becometh any except the Apostles that could not erre, to have. 

Fourthly he doth not the duty of a Pastour to the particular mem- 
bers of this congregation, we prove after this manner. 


First, when Godly persons make their complaint of those that walke 
disorderly, and that the censures are not executed against offenders, they 
that seeke the good of the Church are checked and discouraged by him. 

Secondly, when some have beene suspended from the Lords table, 
they may live many yeares, and dye in their sins, before he lookes 
after them to reclaime them. 

Thirdly the visiting of the members at their houses is [21] so fane 
neglected, that not ouely divers members never were once visited by 
him in divers yeares, but also the visitation of the members against 
[ie : in anticipation of?] the sacrament is wholy left off. 

Fourthly whereas it was desired, that the weekly sermons on 
Wendesdayes, and those usuall before the Sacrament, should agaiue be 
begun, and assistance hath beene offered him therein without his charge 
at least, he neither would performe them himself, nor suffer any other 
we could get to do it, though the Eldership agreed it should besoe. 

Secondly for his Doctrine, we have much against it. But to let 
passe his sleight Sermons, which be many for a man of his abilityes. 

First his self preaching, and misapplying of holy truths, which hath 
beene done with such bitternes of late, that some of us are discouraged, 
from hearing him, and all of us are sent home with sad hearts, when 
those of his side are made glad, and insult, who pretend to cleave to 
Mr. Paget, out of their enmity against us, and those wayes of Godlines 
wherin we desire and indeavour to walke. 

Secondly for his takeing of text of purpose, fit to stirre up conten- 
tion, as of late, that of the 5. of Esay about the vinyard upon which 
five first verses he hath taught a great while, which with what bitternes 
he hath taught against the Godly, many Passages, and members will 
witnes, and insinuating things against us, that we never thought of, 
making us vile before the whole congregation, and to be insulted over 
by unworthy termes, from those of his side : to our great griefe and 
continuall vexation, and 10. dayes since strained the 5. verse which 
tels what God will doe to his vineyned, and spake altogther of mens 
disorders in the Church. 

Thirdly he hath preacht very bitterly and provokingly, against privat 
meetings, not onely long since, but of late, hath done very unjustly, and 
manifest injurye to [22] Mr. Davenport whom he (plainly enough) re- 
proached in his pulpit, about the meeting of divers to heare him open 
the groundes of religion, in Catechysiug the family where he lived, every 
Lords day after the sermons were ended, at 5. a Clock at night; where 
many received much edification, which he hath injuriously now deprived 
us of, to the great grief of many Godly soules. 

Fourthly about the question betweene him and Mr. Davenport, for 
the baptising of all Children that are brought, though the parents were 
altogether unknowne, he very reproachfully upbraided Mr. Daven- 

1909.] DAYENPORT-PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634, 1635. 63 

port of errour, and gave out that he would answer him in the pulpit, 
and when the day came wherein we expected the performance of his 
promise, he avoyded the question betweene them, and fell upon the 
Anabaptists and Brownists, from both which Mr. Davenport differeth 
in that poynt, as he hath tould him formerly, and offered him to declare 
in publick how farre he differed from them therein, is this brotherly 
dealing, thus to use a minister who hath so loveingly assisted him and 
us, in our necessity ? and to traduce him falsly and injuriously in this 
manner, and all to the end that he may seeme to justify his keeping 
of him out of the Church, whom the Church hath so much desired, and 
bewaileth that they are deprived of him, which the Classis at first con- 
sented unto (though they knew the difference) till Mr. Paget brought 
it againe to them by force, to have them make an order to condemne 
their owne practice, and therefore wee conceive Mr. Paget the onely 
cause we are deprived of such heavenly means for our Edification. 

Now we pray you our Elders in the feare of God to take these 
our complaints to heart, and to give your judgment whether it be not 
lit, and more then time, that some lawfull course be taken for the re- 
dresse of these grievances, and to consult which way, it may best be 
done ; that so in that great day of the Lord you may give up your 
account, [23] for the discharge of this Trust committed unto you, with 
joy, which if you shall upon this our solemne complaint neglect to doe, 
we doe protest before the Lord, & his Church, to be wholy guiltles of 
all these evills, having done our utmost indeavour for the redresse of 
the same; & the sinue thereof, to lay upon Mr. Iohn Paget, our 
present pastour, as the principall cause of all these evills, and next 
upon your selves, who have the cheifest authority in the Church, for 
the redresse of all evils. 

So beseeching the Lord to blesse our indevours, and desireing you 
to cause these our complaints to rest upon record in the register of this 
Church, that after times may see how these evils have beene witnessed 
against, we subscribe our names as followeth, desireing also, that place 
may be left in the register for all others, that hearing hereof, shall 
desire to have their names underwritten, for the more full witnes of 
these things, because we have not gathered many names, as we could 
have done of many, (because you might have nothing to take offence 
at that way) which we conceive would gladly have joyned with us 
herein, not onely of men but of many Godly women also, that are 
of the same mind with us. 

W. B. 1 



N. I. 



I. G. 



I. P. 


H. [24] 

I. St. 

1 William Best. 




zPvfadc andTublifhedbj Iohn Davenportc 

<v])on occajion of a pamphktt 



published by a nameles per/on. 

Pi©. i6. 17. 

He thatfajfeth by , twdmedleth "toith Strife belonging not t$ 
him y is likeone that taketh a dogge by the eare. 

Mat. 10. 16.17. 

Sejee wife as Serpents 3 and h Armies as Doues 7 
but beware of Men. 

fiK^ 7 IW 

Pranted at Rott erd am, by Ifaacfrom W4efbergbe, upon the 
Steyghcr,intheFanie, do Ix xxxy, 

1909.] DAYENPORT-PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634, 1635. 65 

"We who last time, did not with our brethren above written abstaine 

to joyne as one with them in these 
therefore have underwritten our 

from the 

Lords Supper, yet 


complaints, and 



names as 



















P. L. 

After these grievances were given unto the consistory, divers mem- 
bers more hearing thereof, desired to joyn in the same and subscribed 
their names allso. 

Now for conclusion, since the case so stands as is here reported, under 
such plentifull testimonie, what remains, but that every one that would 
approve himself to God (if redresse cannot be had) labour to keep himself 
pure, and not partake of others sins, by continuing the servants of men, 
against the power and liberty purchased by Christ for his Church of 
Saincts, knowing the way of the upright is to depart from evill. Stand 
fast therefore, quitt you like men, in striving for the maintenaunce of this 
part of the faith, and the Lord wilbe with you if you wilbe faithfull unto 
him. 1 

A Protestation | Made and Published by Iohn Davenporte | vpon 
occasion of a pamphlett | Intitled | A Ivst Complaint against an vnivst 
Doer | published by a nameles person. . . . Pranted at Rotterdam, 
by Isaac from Waesberghe, upon the Steygher, in the Fame, 
do Ioc xxxv. 2 

The third day of this present month of Ian : 1635. New Stile, at 
noone, the fornamed booke was delivered into my hands, by a Reverent 
Brother, which when I had received, and read the title page, and 
considered the drift of the Publisher, I was amased to see my name 
prefixed and passages, which concerned me, Published, without my 
knowledge, and usshered with such harsh and unsavoury language, and 
Scriptures so wrested and missapplyed : nor could I have rest in my 
Spirit, till I had resolved upon this Protestation, which I now publish 

1 Referring to this paragraph, Paget said : " a Brownist did print it [the pam- 
phlet], with a schismaticall addition in the end." 

2 An unpaged tract of six leaves. The text is reprinted from a photograph 
of the original in Bishop "Williams's library, London, and the errors are repro- 
duced to show the difficulties encountered in having English writings printed in 
Holland, by Dutch printers. The copy in the Williams library is the only 
one thus far traced. 



for the declaration, both of mine innocencie in this matter, and of my 
hearty dislike of this course. 

First, therefore, I doe solemnley and sadly protest these three follow- 
ing particulars. 

1. That I know not, nor can yet learne, who is the Publisher 

2. That he had not my approbation, or consent to this Publishing 
of it. 

3. That I doe account the injury done herein so greate, that I know 
not how the Publisher of it shall be able to make satisfaction, other 
wise, then by revoking his books, burning the whole impression, or 
printing another, that may passe as publickly, as this is like to doe, in 
acknowledgement of his fault. 


Secondly, what motive set this Publisher upon this worke I know 
not nor, can I [i]magine, unles I knew the man. If the arrow against 
A Booke the Seperation Stick still in his side, and cause him || thus 

made by to kick, and fling, let him know that recrimination is no 

Mr. Paget APOLOGY, and books are better answered by arguments, 
then reproaches, and it is more wisdom to heale a mans selfe, then to 
wound another, to dense himselfe, then to besmeare another. If some 
A Booke other, not ingaged in that quarrail, be the doer of it, I 
be made by wish him to cosider seriously, whether some by-respect, or 
Mr. Paget se cret distemper have not biassed his spirit a wronge way, 
or imbittered it too much. 

Thirdly : seeing the Publisher consealeth his name, saying, Published 
by one that &c. I pray him to informe himselfe of three things. 

1. Whether that one be not, in this act, an injurious one? If so; 
had that evill bene a raigning sinne in him, which, I hope, is but, his 

infirmitie, it would have bene found no small sinne in the 
punishment, which he may yet escape by repentance 1. Tim. 
1. 13. 14. 16. 

As for my selfe ; had I bene Silent in this case ; every man would 
have concluded mee guilty : yea, it is already reported that I am the 
author of it, and so, besides the injury done to my selfe (being repre- 
sented to the publick view as a cotentious person, which I naturally 
abhorr, and by Grace much more) the injury also would have fallen 
upon so many persons, as, upon this occasion, should have bene scanda- 
lised by evill surmises unjustly received against me, which is Slander 
in hearte. 

2. Whether that one be not, in this acte, one, that soweth discord 

among Brethren, which is one of the sixe things the Lord hateth and of 

the seaven that are an abhomination to him. Pro. 6. 16. 
2 Cluojre 

17. 18. 19. For, if this was not the end, or intent of the 

publisher (as I will hope, it was not) yet, if God doe not, beyond ex- 

1909.] DAVENPORT-PAGET CONTROVERSY, 1634,1635. 67 

pectatio, mercifully prevent it, it may be the end or event of the worke. 
But the Lord rebuke Sathan ! The beginning of Strife is as the opening 
of Waters, sayth Salomon pro. 17. llf. If any man should goe a||bout 
to open the sluses, how soone might these Netherlands be drowned, 
before they could be stopped againe ? And, who knoweth not that a 
little Child may fire an house, which a thousand men cannot quench? 

Thirdly. Whether that one, be not in this acte, a Buisy body? 2. 
Thes. 3. 11. one, that Busieth himselfe in other mens matters. 1. pet. 
If. 15. For, if the publisher be not a member of that 
Church ; what calling hath he to interpose himselfe thus 
publickly in matters, which properly and only concerne that Church ? 
If he be a member of that Church ; what warrant hath any particuler 
meber to publish those grievances to the world, which are by them 
selves referred to theyre Consistory, before matters have bene there 
discussed, and determined, or, at least, before the issue, and conclusion, 
which there shall be put to the question, hath bene sufficiently de- 
manded and expected ? who ever he be ; who called him to intrude him- 
selfe into matters that appertame to me, so farr as to publish a privat 
wrighting, with my name to it, withont my knouwledg, and against my 
mind ? 

I leave the publisher to satisfie him selfe in these particulers, which 
whilest he en deavoreth to doe, I wil labour to satisfye all men con- 
cerning myne innocencie in the first part of the booke, leaving the 
second part of the booke to the members of that Church, whom it 

First, I confesse, that, about sixe months since, having bene often 
provoked by injurious reports, about my letter to the Classis, and 
about my Tenet against promiscuous Baptizing all that are brought 
(especially in such a place as Amsterdam) and about my desisting, and 
about passages betweene Mr. Paget, and me, and having bene much 
sollicited by particular freinds, to give my answers to such objectios, as 
were dayly brougt to me, and, being informed that the Duch in that 
citty, and some of the || members of that Church, and many of our nation, 
in other parts of these Contries, were by misreports prejudiced against 
me, and, seing that I purposed shortly to leave these Contries : upon 
such necessity, and much importunity, I was constrayned to sett downe 
those particulars in wrighting, that some freind might be able to speake 
in the cause of the dumb, and to cleare the trueth in my absence. 

Secondly, I professe, that no man hath the originall Copie, but my 
selfe, and that, for aught I know, I never gave it to more then two to 
peruse, and whether they both transcribed Copies out of it, or no, I 
know not, but they both returned myne to me againe, which, I have in 
my keeping, at this instant, and my intent, in communicating it to 
those two, was only to inable them to give privat satisfaction to those 


that should require it of them, and so to inable those to satisfye others, 
in a private way, as may appeare, in that I apphed my selfe, in that 
wrighting, onely to such tilings as were then objected, concealing other 
things which 1 might have added for my further clearing, vn les more 
publick provocation should make it necessary to publish all together. 
Which I have hither to forborne, expecting when God would sweetly 
order, and dispose the spirits of pastor and people, in that Church, to 
vnity and concord betweene themselves, in some conclusions, and wayes 
of advancing tlieyre mutuall good and comfort agreable to the Gospell, 
and rule, which Christ hath left for his Churches to walke by, which I 
have hoped hitherto that God would, in time, effect, and doe still hope 
and pray for it : The grant whereof would be to me, matter of vn- 
feigned joy and thanksgiving (not with standing al the Injuryes which 
I have Suffered in that place) wher soever it should please God to 
pich my tent afterwards. 

Thirdly, From hence it will follow, that T am al to-gether innocent in 
this Matter, which, as I knew not of it, till it was || brought to me in 
print, so I vtterly dislike, both for the vnseasonablenes of the worke, 
and for the vnreasonable, and vncharitable bitternes of the Publisher. 

Lastly, my request therfore is, 

1. to M. Paget that he will rest satisfied with my ingenuous pro- 
fession, and acquitt me (as he aught) of any suspicion of guilt, in this 

Secondly. To the publisher, that, seing he omitted to cleare my 
innocency in his first publication of this Phamphlett, he will now do me 
so much right as to affixe this sheete of paper, in stead of a postscript, to 
his booke, or disperse it among all persons, to whose hands his booke 
shall come, or is come. But he will most gratifie me, if he make one 
good fire of both together. 

Thirtly. To all men, to whose hands the other book shall come, that 
they will spedily send this after it, or stiche this with it: assuring them 
selfes, that, if I could have forseene this injury, I would have prevented 
it. For, how soever 1 have written nothing in that declaration, but 
the truth (which I am also ready to confirme, as occasion shall require) 
yet, I affect not to make that publick which may be ended privaty, 
much lesse to be the first in a contention, whether publick or private. 

Now the very God of peace, who also is Love, vnite our hearts to 
himselfe, and one to another in that Love, which is out of a Pure hart, 
and a good Conscience, and faith vnfeined : and inable vs to keepe 
the vnity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace, even for his sake, who is the 
prince of peace, and in whom Wee, who sometimes were afarr off, are 
made nigh by the blood of Christ, who is our peace! 



Mr. Ford also said : 

This letter is from the leading follower of Jackson in New 
Hampshire, and one of the most bitter partisans of the day. It 
is a political paper of high value because of its characteristics. 

Isaac Hill to Henry Lee. 

Concord, N. H. Sept. 16, 1828 
Maj. H. Lee, 

Dear Sir, — Your very kind and flattering letter of the 13th was 
received last evening. I had anticipated great pleasure in seeing and 
conversing with you at this place, having had an intimation from my 
friends at Boston that it was your intention to come here. I shall be 
under the necessity of going to Washington about the tenth of October, 
and may then meet you on the way to or at that place. 

The estimate I have made before the public of the success of the 
Jackson Electoral ticket in this State is such an one as I privately en- 
tertain. We broke ground and sustained the shock earlier than any 
other State of New-England : indeed, in this respect we were before 
New York, where every indication is now favorable to the cause of the 
illustrious citizen of Tennessee. But we have in this State a more 
powerful federal party (entirely in favor of Adams, notwithstanding he 
accused their leaders of treason to Jefferson) than either New-York or 
any State south, with perhaps the exception of Maryland and Delaware. 
You know that in every crisis of the republican party, New-England 
has gone against the united democracy of the nation ; and New- 
Hampshire with the rest. Our first political revolution was not accom- 
plished until 1805, in the election of John Langdon for Governor: in 
1798, with the exception of Langdon and a few sterling patriots, there 
could not be said to be in this State a party friendly to the principles 
of Thomas Jefferson : in 1809, our commercial difficulties and the em- 
bargo again brought up the old aristocracy. We again beat them in 
1810, with the aid of the name of old John Langdon. In 1812, at the 
fall election, the war again brought us under, and so we continued minus 
about 2000 of 40,000 votes until the peace in 1816. Yet such was our 
democratic spirit during that memorable contest — I mean the spirit of 
the minority, for the majority invariably rejoiced at our military re- 
verses — that our little State rendered a more efficient and more durable 
aid to the country in the ranks of the army than any other of the New- 
England States. The old republicans — the steady friends of the cause 
here — have never been office seekers. Hence during our prosperity, 
those who had left the ranks of the aristocracy embracing the most un- 
principled corps of office hunters, contrived to fill all the principal 
offices and to assume all the consequence of leaders of the republican 
party. In this condition the commencement of the present Presidential 


contest found us. Mr. Adams had the art vvitli the aid of Webster, 
Everett &c. early to enlist this corps: Sam. Bell came home from 
Washington in May 1826, determined to carry over the democratic 
] >arty to Adams, and to prostrate all who would not declare for him 
M right or wrong." His .first effort was directed against the New 
Hampshire Patriot and its editor, to whose labors in his behalf he owed 
all the political consequence he ever had. The whole clan of office 
seekers entered the coalition : all of them, while considered republicans, 
had been sustained by the Patriot ; but they now considered the Patriot 
as the only obstacle in their way. They proceeded to establish republi- 
can administration papers to aid the numerous federal papers already in 
existence, and employed agents to make personal application to every 
subscriber of the Patriot to discontinue that and take theirs, alledging 
that I had turned federalist, &c. Their success, after expending thou- 
sands of dollars, obtained somewhere, was much less than might have 
been anticipated. Instead of putting down the Patriot, their exertions 
against it had the tendency to increase its circulation during a single 
year from 3500 to more than 5000 ! 

I verily believe, that even with our " leaders" turned most inveterate 
traitors, we should have carried the last March election, had not the 
outrageous falsehood at the very moment of the election been palmed on 
the people by Sam Bell from Washington, that Madison and Monroe 
would stand as Adams candidates for Electors in Virginia ; and had not 
at the same time about 100,000 of Binns' vile Coffin Handbills been 
circulated, to operate among the electors who had not at hand the 
means of refutation. Two hundred votes rightly disposed would 
have given us, as it was, a Jackson majority in 220 State representa- 
tives, and the same number would have given us a majority in the 
Executive Council. 

Since that time there is evidence of an increase of the Jackson party 
in every town from which we get information : assurances are made 
that they will gain enough in the several towns, to give us a majority 
in November ; and such are the indications. But the Adams party 
fight for their lives — their cause is desperate; and besides the Presi- 
dential question, they fight for the State ascendancy. Their recent 
defeats in the West dishearten them as to the great national result : 
but the late success of the Adams party in Maine encourages them to 
persevere and hold on to New Hampshire as a New England federal 
State. Heretofore in the fall elections, we have not polled so large 
a vote as at the annual elections in March ; and the falling off has 
generally been more on our side than theirs — the aristocracy living in 
the villages near the polls, and the democracy embracing more of the 
yeomanry at a distance. 

As it is our efficient men are all at work ; they are men of principle, 


who are not disheartened at reverses, and will persevere. If we had 
not lost the election in Maine, I should have calculated confidently on 
the success of the Jackson ticket here in November. As the case 
stands, I believe the chance to be at least equal. At any rate, this 
State will be restored next March, if, contrary to all calculation, 
Jackson and the cause of the people shall not fall before the vast means 
arrayed against them : in such a case, I should fear that the people will 
not in the present age again obtain the ascendancy. 

Permit me here, sir, to introduce through you to our political friends 
at the South my own peculiar case. For twenty years, during which 
I have stood at my present post in this State, I have been under the 
" wrath and curse" of the vindictive Aristocracy. No effort has been 
spared to destroy the good opinion which the people have entertained 
of me. During the war I had " all the talents and all the religion '' 
arrayed against me, and the whole force of New England clannish 
prejudice to resist. I withstood the enemy as a writer alone here in 
the centre of the State, and fearlessly repelled the assaults of open and 
secret foes to the cause of the country, urging every motive to patriot- 
ism. The cowardly or more prudent rascals who skulked at that time, 
on the first return of democratic sunshine and prosperity, came in and 
bore off the spoils, leaving me and such as me to be still "hewers of 
wood and drawers of water" under the idea that we had been too 
decided and too open to be popular ! Yet such was the estimation in 
which the republican yeomanry in my neighborhood held my services, 
they took me up for the State Senate four years (and I have never 
pressed myself into the service, having always in view the advancement 
of principles, rather than personal honor or emolument) and I was 
elected in spite of the most strenuous efforts of the aristocracy. My 
greatest triumph over my personal enemies here, however, was in the 
election as a member of the House of Representatives in 1826 for this 
town by about 100 majority, where we had during the war 100 
against us. That election, strange as may seem, was a greater morti- 
fication to my political enemies in this State than had been in other 
contested elections the loss of their Governor. But every thing that 
has been done for me has been done by the people : one reason prob- 
ably has been that I have at no time been an applicant for executive 
favors. Last March my re-election to the State Senate was prevented, 
although I received more votes than any successful candidate had ever 
before received in the same district. The question now was, Jackson 
and Adams : hired voters were brought into the district to turn the 
scale against me in fhis district which was always federal during the 
war: much money was expended and applied from without; and the 
result was in the whole 1800 to 2000 votes, being 500 more than was 
ever before polled in the district. 


This presidential contest has brought upon me new trials, and per- 
sonal sacrifices that I had never anticipated. I found in the early part 
of 1826, as soon as I discovered the course Bell, Harriett, &c. were pur- 
suing at Washington, that with me it was " light or die." And against all 
the weapons and the meaus in their* hands, I have had to interpose my 
little personal property as well as all my powers of mind. My extra 
expenditures in the way of pamphlet publications, &c. in this State for 
the last year have exceeded $1000. I knew that the State of Vermont 
was radically democratic: we wanted all the aid of the democracy of 
New England; and about the beginning of 182G. I went to Boston, 
purchased press and types, aud started a uewspaper with a younger 
brother at Montpelier, the seat of the State government. To the in- 
fluence of this press I have good reason to believe is it owing that at 
the election which has just taken place more than half of the State 
representatives in the northerly half of that State are friends of Gen. 
Jackson. I have advanced in all for the support of that press little 
short of $4000. Whether any portion of it will return to me is ex- 
tremely problematical. 

Your personal acquaintance with the leading democrats of the South 
will enable you to lay before them the hard case of those who have 
fought the battles in New-England. It should be the policy of a re- 
publican administration to foster that moral courage which has here 
stemmed the torrent to brush off those hungry insects who will buzz 
around Gen. Jackson as though they constituted all the political and 
moral worth in the North. You will see as soon as the contest is de- 
cided those men who have descended to the depths of infamy in search 
of materials to blacken his name, the very first to fawn around him 
like spaniels. 

Your estimate of Judge Woodbury's popularity may be true at this 
time in relation to Portsmouth ; but, I believe, is not correct in regard 
to the State. He enjoys a deserved popularity with the mass of the 
democratic party. To this popularity his zeal and labors (particularly 
while in Congress, and especially on the bill for the relief of the revo- 
lutionary officers) have essentially contributed. The Jackson party in 
Portsmouth does not embrace the fashion, or what Charles King calls 
" good society " : and with this part Woodbury and family have generally 
associated. Nevertheless, it embraces not less intelligence and more 
worth, but is confined to those in more humble and more laborious 
walks. Woodbury fails there in not mixing more with his friends. 
Decatur is sui generis : we can pardon in him what could be scarcely 
forgiven in others. He has done much for our cause in one town of 
Maine, to wit, Kittery. Perhaps he has gained few friends to Jackson 
elsewhere. Still we may give him credit for good intentions. 

I shall send to the care of Dr. Ingalls for you, half a dozen copies of 


my address on the 8th Jan, half a dozen Address at Portsmouth — the 
same number of a pamphlet exhibiting the spirit of the Jacksonians in 
this State on the 4th July, 1828, and two copies of the proceedings 
of the Jackson Convention in June, 11,000 copies of which have been 
circulated. The address accompanying these proceedings was a hasty 
effort of my own — it can claim no credit for originality ; but I think 
it a successful effort in proving the consistency of those principles I 
have contended for during the term of twenty five years, having com- 
menced politician when an unlettered apprentice in a printing office at 
the age of fourteen years ! 

I shall, if I have not tired you out with this long epistle, be happy to 
continue a correspondence with the man who has discovered so much 
and so transceudant powers of mind in defending the most deserving, 
but most abused citizen of our Republic. Your friend and most 

Isaac Hill. 

The Secretary of the Historical Commission of North Caro- 
lina, Mr. R. D. W. Connor, courteously sent a copy of the 
following letter from a North Carolinian visiting in Boston in 

Frederick S. Blount to John H. Bryan. 

Tremont House, Boston, June 29, 1831. 

My dear Brother, — I feel gratified that I concluded some week 
or two since in New York to visit this City before my return to the 
South ; and I can assure you I feel amply repaid for the time I have 
spent here in the enjoyment of the refined and intellectual society which 
one meets with in this city. Mr. Webster was absent when I arrived 
here ; he has not yet returned, and as I shall leave here this afternoon 
for Hartford I shall not have the pleasure of seeing him. Through 
the kind offices of Dr. Channing, a medical gentleman of high standing 
in this city and brother to the celebrated Rev. Dr. Channing I have 
been introduced into the families of the most eminent citizens. Among 
them that of Mr. Quincy President of Cambridge who asked many 
questions relative to his old friend Mr. Gaston ; his lady was minute in 
her inquiries respecting a young Mr. Bryan 1 who accompanied Mr. G. 
and his daughter Susan, on a visit to this City some two or three years 
ago. I found a young Mr. Jones 2 of Shocco in our State a Student in 
the Law School attached to Harvard and in company with him called 
upon the Ex-President Adams at Quincy. He was cordial in his wel- 
come, and the grand expose lately at Washington was the principal 

1 John H. Bryan, to whom this letter was written. 

2 Joseph Seawell Jones, author of " Defence of the Revolutionary Historj- of 
the State of North Carolina from the Aspersions of Mr. Jefferson " (Boston, 1S34). 



topic of conversation. He (very much to my surprise) advocated Mr. 
Eaton's conduct, and expressed much disapprobation of the manner 
in which he had been persecuted. He however thought it would have 
been best if lie had retired without putting the character of his lady at 
issue before the American people. Mr. Adams is very unpopular in 
Boston, and is treated without attention by many of the first families 
here. The cause of this coolness towards him originated in the cele- 
brated charge made by him against certain citizens of this city who were 
members of the Hartford Convention. I understood from a son of Mr. 
Dearborn that the vindication and appeal of Messrs. Otis &c was the 
joint production of each one of the gentlemen who were implicated in 
the charge, and that they all prepared a reply which they embodied into 

I attended on Monday at 12 o'clock in the lecture room of the Har- 
vard Law School a lecture by Judge Story on Constitutional Law. He 
discussed the question " Whether the Constitution was a compact, agree- 
ment or covenant, touched slightly upon the doctrine so fashionable in 
South Caroliua, and closed with a most beautiful and elegant eulogium 
on the prosperity & happiness of our federated form of government." 
I was very much pleased with his simple and unaffected manners — 
and received from him a very polite invitation to call and spend an 
evening with him. 

The Southern Mail of last night brought us intelligence of the de- 
struction of the State House at Raleigh and the Statute [sic] of Wash- 
ington by Canova. This is a truly distressing and appalling catastrophe, 
distressing from the carelessness with which those to whom we owe the 
misfortune, manifested in their conduct, and appalling from the loss of a 
specimen of art which can never be replaced. Mr. Buxton the minister 
of the Episcopal Church in Fayetteville is now in this City on his return 
from the towns to the Northward of this, whither he has been to solicit 
donations for rebuilding the Church in Fayetteville. He informs me 
that he has been successful beyond his most sanguine expectations, and 
has no doubt but he will receive ample means for the accomplishment 
of his purpose. The citizens here have subscribed largely to the wants 
of the destitute & suffering inhabitants of Fayetteville and have already 
remitted them the sum of ftlOjOOO. 1 I have visited in the neighbour- 
hood all the scenes which our Revolution have alike made matters of 
interest and history, Breeds and Bunker Hills, the Lakes in the interior, 
the Athenaeum containing a splendid and valuable Library [fora], Medals, 
specimens of sculpture, natural and artificial [torn] &c. &c. They 
are admirably arranged and kept in a state of fine preservation. The 
cause of Mr. Clay prospers most gloriously here, and the present ad- 
ministration suffers from daily desertion. The late proceedings at 

1 The town had recently been visited by a destructive fire. 


Washington create here no other feelings than those of pity and con- 
tempt for the weakness of its head, and the inefficiency of its members. 
Tender the assurances of my love to all my relatives, and believe me to 
remain truly and affectionately 

Your Brother 

Fred : S. Blount. 

N. B. The girls here are the most beautiful, engaging and accom- 
plished in the world, — those of North Carolina excepted. I shall be 
at home by the 25th of July to prepare for Onslow Court. 

Address : The Hon. John H. Bryan, Newbern, No. Ca. 



The stated meeting was held on Thursda}', the 11th in- 
stant, at three o'clock, P. M. ; the senior Vice-President, 
Samuel A. Green, in the chair. 

The record of the October meeting was read and approved ; 
and the list of donors to the Library during the last month 
was read. 

Dr. Green announced the gift, by the New England 
Society of New York, of a bronze medal, recently struck 
by Tiffany and Company, to commemorate the one hun- 
dredth anniversary, in 1905, of the founding of that Society. 

Dr. Green then said: 

My first duty this afternoon is to announce the death of 
Colonel Theodore Ayrault Dodge, a Resident Member, which 
took place at his chateau in France, on October 26. He was a 
native of Pittsfield, where he was born on May 28, 18-12. 
He received his early education abroad, having studied in 
Berlin and Heidelberg, and graduated at the University of 
London in 1861. At the outbreak of the Rebellion he 
returned home and enlisted in the ranks, and served in every 
capacity from that of a private to a colonel. Later he was 
given a commission in the regular army, and also four brevets, 
for gallant services on different occasions, and was placed on 
the retiring list for wounds received in the line of duty. He 
was chosen a member of the Society, on May 14, 1896, and 
later he gave a complete set of his historical and military 
works, — a valuable addition to the Library. In accordance 
with custom a tribute will be paid to his memory at the next 
meeting by our associate Colonel Thomas L. Livermore, his 
friend, who is to-day temporarily absent from his home. 

It is also my duty to announce the death of Henry Charles 
Lea, an Honorary Member of the Society, which took place in 
Philadelphia on October 24. He was first chosen a Corre- 
sponding Member on October 14, 1875, and later, on October 9, 
1892, was transferred to the Honorary list. An active worker 
in many branches of useful labor, he enjoyed a wide reputation 


both at home and abroad. Professor Charles H. Haskins will 
prepare the customary tribute to him, which will be read at the 
next meeting. The passing of an Honorary Member is now 
made a special occasion, when formal and suitable action is 
taken by the Society. Membership on this roll implies services 
in historical or literary work of more than usual importance. 

I wish to call attention to a new volume of Proceedings, 
third series, volume n., containing the minutes of the meetings 
from October, 1908, to June, 1909, both inclusive, which has 
been received by the members within the last few days. It 
will be noticed that a change has been made in the numbering 
of the volume, which is to be known as " Vol. 42 " in sequence 
from the beginning, as well as " 3 series II." 

In connection with this subject I wish to quote from a letter 
received from the Hon. John Bigelow, who in a fortnight will 
be ninety-two years old, and is the last survivor of those who 
have held important European diplomatic positions during the 
War of the Rebellion. For some years Mr. Bigelow's name 
has stood at the head of our list of Corresponding Members, 
he having been chosen at the February meeting of 1875. 
Under date of November 6, 1909, he writes me : 

The Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society constitute 
a body of historical literature many times more valuable than those of 
any other historical society in the United States, — so far as I know; 
and by your new Index of the Proceedings for twenty-three years you 
have fully as many times increased the value of those Proceedings by 
making them so conveniently accessible to the student. It is a model 
piece of work of its kind and one which any student can pore over with 
interest and profit, even though he has none of the volumes to the con- 
tents of which his attention is invited. 

Jonathan Smith read the following paper : 

The Massachusetts and New Hampshire Boundary Line 
Controversy, 1693-1740. 

In 1628 the Council of Plymouth granted to Sir Henry 
Roswell and five others, and to their associates, the land 
lying between a point three miles south of the Charles River 
and a point distant three English miles to the northward of 
the river called Monomack, otherwise Merrimack, "or to the 
northward of any and every parte thereof." In 1677 Charles 


II and Council, upon the report of the Lord Chief Justices, 
in a controversy between the Colony of Massachusetts Bay 
and Mason and Gorges, concerning the line, defined the 
boundary in the same language. Again, in 1691, in the 
charter of William and Mary creating the Province of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, the northern boundary of the Province was 
fixed at the same place by identical language. The descrip- 
tion of this north line, in the decree of 1677 and also in the 
charter of 1691, is obviously copied from the charter granted 
by the Council of Plymouth, dated 1628. At the last date 
the true course of the Merrimack River was unknown. In 
1677 and in 1691 the people of the colonies knew its direc- 
tion. Evidently the King and his advisers cared very little 
about the facts, or at least took no steps to discover them, 
and were content simply to reaffirm the line as originally 
described. Their conduct in the matter shows how indefinite 
the knowledge of the English authorities was relating to 
colonial geography and their loose and careless methods of 
transacting business connected with their New England 

In this instance the ignorance or carelessness of the grant- 
ing power gave rise to a bitter controversy between the two 
provinces which lasted for forty-eight years, brought suffering 
and heavy loss to many deserving people, and inflicted wounds 
which were not healed until the Revolutionary War. 

In the controversy New Hampshire took the ground that 
when the grants were made, the earlier as well as the later, 
the English authorities supposed the general course of the 
river to be easterly from its source to its mouth ; 1 that the 
line was fixed under mistake of a very material fact, and that 
it should be finally established where, under the wording of 
the charters, it would be if the river had an easterly direction 
through its whole length. Massachusetts clung to the strict 
letter of the grants, 2 and as far as the language describing the 
line went had right upon its side. Under a well-known rule 
of equity law, however, the justice of the case was upon the 
side of New Hampshire. It was a vital matter with our 
northern neighbor, and meant to her much more than the 
twenty-five hundred square miles of territory involved in the 
dispute, for her very existence as an independent province 
1 N. H. State Papers, xix. 243; 2 299. 


was included in the issue, and this was probably the key to 
her conduct in the premises. The action of Massachusetts, 
taken possibly to strengthen her claim to the disputed terri- 
tory before the King and Council, and the consequences of that 
action to her grantees and those claiming under her, concern 
this paper. 

In 1693 New Hampshire took the initial step by appointing 
a commission to run the line between the two provinces, and 
invited Massachusetts to join in the work. 1 The request was 
declined. 2 From that time forward for twenty-three years, 
interrupted, it is true, by several Indian wars, she renewed 
repeatedly her efforts to settle the matter, and each time was 
defeated by the Massachusetts authorities. At last, in 1726, 
the State appealed directly to the King and Council. 3 This 
move stirred the Bay-State officials to vigorous action. 

Prior to 1726 this State had granted but three townships, 
or parts of townships, in the disputed territory. It had also 
made many grants of land in plats varying from one hundred 
to one thousand acres each, to soldiers in consideration of 
military duty done, or to their heirs, to officials for valuable 
public service, and to Massachusetts towns on account of 
their burdens of taxation, or for schools and public improve- 
ments. Up to that date, 1726, it had granted but eleven 
townships in whole or in part in the preceding one hundred 
years in what is now New- Hampshire territory. These had 
been given to actual settlers, and as a general rule no condi- 
tions had been attached to the grants. When it was found 
that by the appeal the question would have to be settled by 
a tribunal in England, the Massachusetts authorities entered 
upon a more radical policy, taken, it is reasonable to believe, 
in order to strengthen their cause before the court which was 
to decide it. It was apparent to them that if this contro- 
verted territory was settled by Massachusetts citizens, bound to 
her by ties of nativity, business interests and title to the soil, 
it would furnish a strong, if not conclusive, reason for a 
judgment in their favor. It is to be frankly said that no 
declaration by any Massachusetts official has been found 
which avows that to be the reason for this action following 
the appeal of New Hampshire in 1726. But that such was 

1 N. H. State Papers, xix. 181 ; ' 2 Mass. Archives, ill. 479. 
8 N. H. State Papers, xix. 200. 


the real motive, concealed though it was, the evidence does 
not seem to admit of much doubt. The fact is shown by the 
manner Massachusetts dealt with this land after the appeal 
in comparison with the way it had dealt with it before. 
The New Hampshire authorities so believed, and openly 
charged it in their papers and arguments at the trial. 1 Some 
of the historians of the period openly suggest it 2 or admit the 
existence of such a belief, 3 and when the commissioners gave 
their alternative decision to the King and Council in 1739, 
they had the facts of these grants and the many settlements 
made under them inserted in the papers of the Massachusetts 
case when it went to the higher tribunal. 4 

The reason publicly given for many of them was, however, 
very different. It was said that this disputed territory might 
be employed to form a barrier against Indian raids. 5 The 
Canadian Indians in their attacks upon the settlers entered 
the country either by the head waters of the Connecticut, 
or else by the Champlain valley, crossing Vermont by trails 
from the lower end of the lake to the Connecticut River; 
and they either passed down the Connecticut valley, or 
crossed by another trail to Lake Winnipiseogee and thence 
marched down the Merrimack valley. It was thought that if 
a line of towns was granted and settled between Dunstable 
and Northfield thence up the Connecticut to Bellows Falls, 
across the country from Bellows Falls to Penacook, and 
thence down the Merrimack to Dunstable, a barrier against 
savage invasion would be created that would make life and 
property comparatively secure. 

On April 30, 1726, the New Hampshire legislature voted 
to instruct its agent in London, Henry Newman, to lay the 
question of the boundary line before the King and ask him to 
settle it. 6 In December of the same year a committee, previ- 
ously appointed, reported to the Massachusetts legislature that, 
"considering the Forwardness of the great Number of the 
Petitioners to Settle themselves and their Children " on lands, 

i N. H. Stale Papers, xix. 235-238, 536, 537 ; iv. 844 ; v. 928. 

2 Douglass, Summary, i. 424; Hutchinson, n. 344. 

3 Hutchinson, n. 299. 

* N. H. State Papers, xix. 403. 

5 Mass. House Journal, Message of Gov. Dummer, May 29, 1724, of Gov, 
Belcher, June 1, 1732, and May 28, 1736. 

6 N. H. State Papers, xix. 201. 


and u the shortning the Western Frontiers more than Sixty 
Miles, if a Line of Towns were settled between Dunstable and 
Northfield and thereby the Charge of the Government in 
time of War would be sunk." 1 The House voted to survey 
and lay out a line of towns, each six miles square between 
these two points. There were differences between the House 
and Council over some details of the Act, and the measure 
was put over till the following year, when it was enacted by 
the legislature. 2 At the same time it was voted to lay out a 
line of towns between Dunstable and Penacook, and three 
towns next to the Connecticut River. 2 In these resolutions 
the House asserted that the settlement of these towns would 
" Vastly lessen the Charge of the Defence of this Government 
in time of War." 

The towms laid out on the south line were never granted, 
but in 1728 two towns on the eastern line were. 3 The others 
were not voted until 1735 and 1736, when the legislature 
granted not only three towns on the Connecticut River but 
also a line of nine towns from Penacook straight across the 
State to Bellows Falls. 4 Between 1728 and 1736 the subject 
was kept before the legislature at every session. In his mes- 
sage, in June, 1732, Governor Belcher called special attention 
to the subject, and again, in 1736, said : " I hope this Court 
will give all proper Encouragement for a Speedy settlement of 
those Lands, which will fix such a Barrier for that part of our 
Frontier, as will be of great Safety to the Province upon any 
Rupture that may happen with our Neighbours." 5 Such con- 
ditions were coupled with these grants as, it was hoped, would 
secure their speedy and permanent settlement. The grantees 
were required within a limited period to lay out sixty- three 
lots in their several townships ; to settle upon them within 
three years sixty families ; each family was to build a house at 
least eighteen feet square and seven feet in the stud ; and to 
clear, fence and bring under cultivation six acres of land. 
The grantees were further required to set aside one lot for the 
ministry, one for the first minister and another for the school ; 
and to build a meeting house and settle an orthodox minister 

i Mass. House Journal, Dec. 9, 1726 ; 2 June 14, 1727. 
3 Mass. Province Laws, xi. 355, 378; 4 X n. 225. 

5 Mass. House Journal, Messages of Gov. Belcher, June 1, 1732, and May 28, 



within the same period. 1 Furthermore in many grants each 
of the settlers, or, in some instances, the grantees were ordered 
to give bonds of £20 2 and in some cases £40 to perform these 
conditions. 3 As far as related to these towns the effort did not 
wholly succeed. In three of them 4 the land was found to be 
so sterile and rocky that the grantees refused to accept the 
o-ift and later asked for and obtained land in other States. In 
other instances the Indian war of 1744 and the doubt about 
the title led to the total abandonment of the settlements and 
compelled the settlers who returned to their grants to begin 
anew under another authority. 

But the granting of these so-called " line towns " was only 
one step in the plan pursued. Pretences were encouraged 
and even sought after to entitle persons to qualify as grantees. 
Many petitions for soldiers were laid before the legislature 
asking grants of wild land which furnished an outlet for the 
spirit which seemed to have possessed the governing bodies of 
the Province. In 1728 two towns had been given to the 
soldiers of Lovewell's War of 1725, and in 1735 the territory 
now covered by the city of Manchester was voted to the men 
who served in the Indian war of 1703 and 1704. Within two 
years of the latter grant the legislature voted nine townships, 
three of which were in this disputed area, to the soldiers, or 
their heirs, of the Narragansett War of 1675 — one township 
to every one hundred and twenty persons entitled. This 
grant was made fifty -nine years after that war closed and when 
but twenty-nine out of the whole number of two hundred and 
thirty-two men serving, survived, less than one in ten. In 
1735, 1736 and 1737 nine towns were also voted out of this 
territory to soldiers, or their heirs, serving in the expedition 
against Canada in 1690. These do not include a large number 
of gifts to individuals on grounds of special service or special 
hardships and loss in those and other campaigns against the 
public enemy. 

Besides all these, seven towns were voted directly to specu- 
lators who, through purchase, also acquired title to many of 
the towns already demised. From 1728 to 1738 inclusive, 
Massachusetts granted thirty-one entire townships out of this 
debatable territory, and this does not cover the whole of its 

1 Mass. Province Laws, xn. 220 ; 2 144 ; 3 225. 
4 N. H. State Papers, xxiv. 1-6, 154. 


prodigal policy. As before intimated, there were large num- 
bers of gifts on petition to private individuals, — soldiers, 
public officials and persons who had fallen into distress. 
These petitions reflect the conditions of the time and the 
general poverty and hardships of the people. Ephraim Hil- 
dreth and others asked for a township on the ground that they 
had served the Province as volunteers in the Indian war in 
the year 1703, " performed a very difficult and hard march " 
in the winter season " as far as Winnipissiokee-Lake and 
killed six of the Indian Enemy," that the said company were 
the " first that attempted to March against the enemy with 
snow shoes," 1 " since which the same method had been fol- 
lowed with great success against the Indians." 

Again, William Lund desired four hundred acres because 
being in the service of the Province " he was taken by the 
Indian Enemy " and carried into captivity, where he suffered 
great hardships and was obliged to pay a great price for his 
release and his estate was very much hurt and diminished in 
his absence. 2 

And so Peleg Wiswall wanted three hundred acres on 
account of the services and sufferings of his father Rev. 
Ichabod Wiswall in the employ of the Province. 3 Another 
asked for three hundred acres because the military company 
to which he belonged had killed or captured thirty-one In- 
dians and that he " was now old and had a numerous family 
and no lands to settle them on." 4 Robert Rand alleged that 
he was grand-nephew of Thomas Gcffe, who in England had 
given valuable service to the colonies and had died on his 
passage to this country and had never received any land ; 
that he (Rand) was in low and necessitous circumstances and 
would the Legislature have compassion on him and give him 
some land. 5 His prayer was answered with a donation of 
one thousand acres. Among the objects of the legislative 
bounty were Governors Endicott 6 and Belcher, 7 Treasurer 
Jeremiah Allen, 8 and Samuel Sewall, 9 the famous diarist, in 

1 Mass. House Journal, Dec. 13, 1734 ; 2 Dec. 5, 1734 ; 3 j an> 28, 1730-37. 

4 Mass. Province Laws, xn. 76, 102. 

5 Mass. House Journal, March 1, 1733-34. 

6 Mass. Archives, xlv. 227. 

7 Mass. Province Laws, xi. 515 ; Mass. House Journal, Jan. 5, 1735-30. 

8 Mass. Province Laws, xn. 598. 

9 Mass. Court Records, Nov. 29, 1695. 


right of his wife to make good a previous grant to her father, 
John Hull. 

In addition to all this, there were lavish grants to Massa- 
chusetts towns. A large tract was given to Uxbridge on 
account " of the great number of bridges in said town " ; 1 and 
to Cambridge, Duxbury 2 and Charlestown 3 for the support of 
schools. The town of Maiden asked for four thousand acres, 
giving as reason that the bounds of their town were " Exceed- 
ing streight ; the most of our Improved Lands and Meadow 
being limited About two Miles in length and one in Breadth ; 
. . . That hitherto we have had no Enlargement from the 
Countrie ; . . . That our Charges to the Countrie & Ministry 
much Exceedeth Sundry others. . . . Our Teacher Allso hath 
been long visited with verie great weakness from which it is 
much feared he will not be recovered." 4 There was hardly a 
town in Massachusetts then organized, if, indeed, there was a 
single one, which did not ask for and receive liberal gifts of 
wild land and many of them were from this area claimed by the 
two provinces. Out of two hundred and twelve Acts passed by 
the Massachusetts legislature at its May and November sessions 
of 1736, fifty-seven related to grants either to individuals or 
Bay State towns. 

The speculative spirit, as might be supposed, was sharply 
stimulated by this action. There grew up a body of men 
whose sole occupation was dealing in wild land. Whenever 
possible they obtained grants of townships directly to them- 
selves, and in other cases they bought out the grantees for a 
nominal sum and assumed the conditions. They laid out the 
necessary number of lots, sold one to the settler and promised 
him another when certain improvements were made, built 
houses, bridges and roads and often a church and mill. John 
Hill, of Boston, was a type of these speculators. Between 
1730 and 1739 he was either grantee or became part pro- 
prietor of eight towns in southwestern New Hampshire, and 
John Fowle, of Woburn, another of the class, was sole or part 
owner of six towns in the same section. This does* not in- 
clude their transactions in land in western Massachusetts, nor 
in Maine during the same or subsequent years. Not only was 

1 Mass. Province Laws, xn. 248; 2 xi. 740; xn. 82. 

3 Mass. Col. Records, Nov. 12, 1659, p. 400. 

4 Mass. Archives, cxn. 147. 


the traffic fever increased, but serious consequences followed. 
" The settlement of the Province," says Hutchinson, " was 
retarded, a trade of land jobbing made many idle persons, 
imaginary wealth was created which was attended with some 
of the mischievous effects of a paper currency, idleness and 
bad economy, and a real expense was occasioned to many 
persons." 3 

If the real purpose of this action of the Massachusetts 
authorities was to strengthen their case before the King and 
Council, the attempt failed completely, for on March 5, 1740, 
the case was decided in favor of New Hampshire, and the 
final decree gave to that State above seven hundred square 
miles of territory more than she had ever claimed. 

Whatever the object of this land policy was, the final result 
was most disastrous to the Massachusetts grantees and those 
claiming under them. In a few instances the townships were 
abandoned without effort to settle them, and the grantees 
were given equivalent townships in Maine. In most cases, 
however, strenuous efforts were made to fulfil the conditions 
of the grant and the owners expended large sums, often 
several hundred pounds and even more, to carry out their 
agreements. King George's war of 1744-48 seriously com- 
plicated the situation. The settlers of some of the towns 
abandoned their houses and fled to the older places in Massa- 
chusetts. In others they not only suffered from savage in- 
cursions, but were put to heavy expense in constructing forts 
and blockhouses. Where the grants were deserted, all the 
money which had been expended became a total loss, and 
everything had to be done over again. Before the war closed, 
the Masonian proprietors, successors to the title of John 
Mason, had asserted their right to two-thirds of the disputed 
lands, and had to be reckoned with before a resettlement could 
be made or a good title secured. Every Massachusetts 
grantee lost his land, and the forfeiture cost some of them 
dearly. John Hill before named, one of the grantees of 
Hillsborough, in his petition to the Masonian proprietors for 
confirmation of his grant, said that he had been at near 
£20,000 charge in the attempt "of Setling that Remote Wil- 
derness." 2 In another memorial to the same proprietors in 

1 Hutchinson's Hist. Mass., n. 299, 300. 

2 N. H. State Papers, xxvu. 351. 


behalf of himself and co-grantees of New Boston, he repre- 
sented that they had laid out a township, built a meeting- 
house, saw-mill, sixty dwelling-houses, two bridges and many 
roads, to the amount of £4500, which would be a total loss 
through Indian wars and defeat of title. 1 In case of another 
town it was asserted they had done these things and settled 
thirty families on the lots. In 1760 the proprietors of Rindge 
presented a memorial to the Massachusetts legislature which, 
after stating their loss of title, asked leave, among oj;her 
things, to raise the sum of £1282 6s. 9d. by a lottery, 
alleging they had paid £682 6s. 9d. in taxes on their grant 
and £600 at the lowest computation " which hath been Ex- 
pended in Buildings and Bringing forward Settlements." 2 
When the Masonian proprietors had title, they were asked 
for regrants, which in most cases were given, the proprietors 
reserving to themselves large sections of what was supposed 
to be the best land in the town. In other cases grants in a 
few instances were obtained from New Hampshire, and, in 
others, from Massachusetts out of its eastern lands. In all 
cases within the contested area the title of the grantees and 
settlers under the Massachusetts acts proved entirely worthless. 
The hardships and loss entailed upon the individual settlers 
were very severe. The fruits of all their previous expense and 
labor were put in jeopardy, and the doubt and uncertainty of 
their titles occasioned bitter distress and anxiety. Some de- 
serted their claims entirely; others asked for grants of other 
lands or besought the Masonian proprietors to confirm their 
titles. These petitions are pathetic for their rude but vigor- 
ous descriptions of the grievances under which the settlers 
were suffering, and reflect the social and economic conditions 
of the time. Rev. Ebenezer Flagg, of Chester, thus writes to 
the Masonian proprietors : " I need not tell you that Country 
Ministers Are generally prett}^ poor, And their Small Salaries 
forbid them thinking to lay up Anything for their Children 
that way; this is So obvious — Therefore I took this Scheme 
that my Children After me might Not be Beggars or Idle, but 
to get An honest living with the Sweat of their faces, 
Obtained five Rights in Hales Town [now Weare] the Duty of 
which Rights I proposed to perform According to ye Genl 
Courts Act. But now I find the property belongs to Yourself 
1 N. II. State Papers, xxviii. 51 ; a Mass. Archives, cxvu. 611. 


... I have Already Expended considerable Money & have a 
SawMill fit for Business, A house not quite fit to live in And 
have cleard About Eisrht or ten Acres of land And to lose all 
this must be hurtful to me & my children Therefore I Intreat 
your favour that I might yet hold those Rights." 1 

John Hale says in his petition to the same proprietors : 
"Your Memorialist about 24 Years ago Purchas'd ... a 
Proprietors Share in the Township called Rowley Canada 
[Rindge] . . . And Entred upon it Built a House and 
Cleared about 30 or 40 Acres of Land and Paid the 
Taxes on it And possess'd it for Some Years Not Doubting 
but he had a Legal Title to Said Lands and that on your 
Extending Mr Mason's claim to those Lands he gave them up 
whereby He Suffered Great Loss Having Expended more than 
An one hundred Pounds Lawful Money on them : And others 
L T nder Your Grant Reed the Benefit of his Cost & Labours 
He Therefore Prays Gent : that you 1 take the matter under 
Consideration (his Loss and Interest on it Amounting to More 
then Two Hundred Pounds Lawful money)." 2 

The grantees of Manchester asserted in 1751 that they had 
been harassed by lawsuits since 1742, every suit had been 
decided against them except one, and that they and their 
grantees had been ejected from their lands or had to repurchase 
them, at an expense of several thousand pounds in defending 
their rights beside the loss of all their labor and improvements. 

There was a great deal of litigation. The suits were 
brought by New Hampshire claimants against the Massachu- 
setts holders, in the New Hampshire courts, and were tried by 
New Hampshire judges and juries. There could be but one 
outcome and the verdicts were uniformly in favor of the New 
Hampshire claimants. Where the Masonian proprietors re- 
granted the townships they in many instances guaranteed 
the title but this did not aid the Massachusetts holders. The 
legislature in February, 1736, perhaps with probable litigation 
in view, but professedly that the settlers might " know in 
what County they be, in Order to have their Title Recorded, 
the Kings peace preserved, and Common Justice done them," 
assigned the townships among the four northern counties of 
this State. 3 Sometimes the defeated litigants not only lost 

i N. H. State Papers, xxvm. 453 ; 2 206. 
3 Mass. Province Laws, xu. 342. 


their title, but were imprisoned on the executions issued. 1 
Scattered through the Province Laws for several years follow- 
ing 1748 are many acts granting lands to petitioners who had 
been ejected from their holdings by the New Hampshire courts. 
Two cases growing out of the famous Bow controversy were 
appealed and had their final trial in London. In both, the 
judgments of the New Hampshire Courts were reversed and 
the tenants held their lands. The first was one determined 
in 1755 by the King and Council, in which the Massachusetts 
claimant had Sir William Murray for his Attorney. The 
second decided by the Court of King's Bench was not ended 
until 1762. In the meantime Murray had been appointed 
Chief Justice of the Court of the King's Bench and himself 
gave the opinion. He held that whoever first settled on a 
grant from either State his possession, followed by occupa- 
tion and improvement, gave a good title. 2 This equitable 
principle of law would have sustained every Massachusetts 
grant, but it came too late to be of help to any save the 
parties to that action. The Massachusetts settlers had either 
abandoned their claims or already repurchased them from the 
Masonian proprietors or of the New Hampshire grantees. But 
for twenty years following the establishment of the boundary 
there was constant litigation in which the expenses bore 
heavily on the losing parties, 3 and left a feeling of anger and 
bitterness, which lasted many years. It is not an attractive 
chapter in provincial history. 

Mr. Thayer read a paper entitled : 
An Italian Nobleman's Glimpse of Boston in 1837. 

We Americans have certainly never lacked the advantage 
of knowing what our neighbors have thought of us. Instead 
of being humbled, however, I fear that we have been made 
either self-complacent or stubborn ; for we have too often had 
reason to suspect that our foreign critics spoke from ignorance 
or from condescension, — which is a peculiarly offensive variety 
of ignorance. Travellers' impressions possess, however, at least 
one positive value — they reveal the character of the traveller. 

1 N. II. State Papers, xxiv. 291. 

2 Joseph B. Walker, Bow Controversy, 1901, 28. 
8 N. H. State Papers, xxiv. 48. 


When a distinguished English "literary lady" at a tea in 
Cambridge recently said to her hostess, " This sandwich is 
very nawsty," we learned more about the manners of that 
literary lady than about the sandwich. 

Not long ago, I was turning over the journal of an Italian 
nobleman who travelled in the United States in 1837. The 
book, so far as I can discover, has never been read or even 
mentioned over here. There is no reference to it in Mr. John 
Graham Brooks's "As Others See Us," — that shrewd and 
enlightening survey of our foreign critics' indictments ; nor 
have I seen it noted elsewhere. The author, Count Francesco 
Arese, came of a family of Lombard patricians. Born in 1805, 
he was early banished for his Liberal opinions. In his youth 
he became very intimate with a fellow-exile, Louis Napoleon, 
three years his junior, and their friendship lasted unbroken till 
death. Indeed, after Napoleon thrust himself on the throne of 
France, Arese was unquestionably the Italian whom he most 
trusted ; and in more than one crisis, when the life of the 
nascent kingdom of Italy hung in the balance, Arese hurried 
to France to bespeak the Emperor's good will. 

But his American journal dated from many years before 
that. Count Arese's visit to the United States had a noble and 
romantic motive. In 1836 Louis Napoleon made his fatuous 
attempt on Strasburg, was arrested, imprisoned, tried, and 
sentenced to perpetual banishment across the Atlantic. When 
Arese heard the news, he hastened to Liverpool, took passage 
for New York, and was on the wharf to welcome the homesick 
young pretender, as his ship arrived. That 'such a Damon- 
and-Pythias attachment should flourish with Louis Napoleon 
as one of its members, is the best thing that can be said of 

After staying in New York for a while, the two friends set 
out on their travels ; but the Prince soon returned to Europe 
and settled in England. Arese, on the other hand, made a 
tour not only of the Atlantic seaboard, but into what w r as 
then the far West. His descriptions of life with the Indians 
and of the frontier conditions are among the most interesting 
parts of his journal. There is nothing actually novel in them, 
I suppose, but there is much that well repays reading. The} r 
are also unique, because no other highly cultivated, much 
travelled and observant Italian has left any similar account of 



our count rv as early as the thirties of the last century. 
Arese's "Notes," as he modestly called them, might be worth 
translating and publishing entire. I have translated the page 
or so that relates to Boston. The original, in French, was 
never polished or even written out by the Count, — indeed, 
it first appeared in print after his death, — so that it has all 
the brevity and slurs of syntax that we expect to find in 
a traveller's memoranda hastily jotted down. I have not 
attempted to be smoother than the original. 

I left Providence by railroad and after having traversed an insig- 
nificant country I arrived at Boston. 

Boston is a beautiful and large City ; many persons, above all the 
Bostonians, regard it as the handsomest city of the United States ; for 
myself, I prefer Philadelphia, and above all, New York. Boston 
greatly resembles an English town, and in its finest quarters you might 
easily believe yourself in London. The panorama one enjoys from 
the top of the City Hall [State House?] is wholly beautiful. 

Boston is built, so to speak, on an island, and is united to the neigh- 
boring mainland by only six or eight bridges. The town [is] called 
the Athens of America because its inhabitants are more intelligent than 
those of the other cities, who take their revenge by taxing the Bostonians 
with coldness and stiffness. I could not judge for myself, having stayed 
there too short a time. The Dry Dock, a basin perfectly constructed 
entirely of stone, serves for taking ships out of the water in order to 
copper-bottom them. When I was there the frigate Ohio was about 
to be coppered. 

The Bostonians are proud of what they call their Pere-la-Chaise, 
which they have tne audacity to put on the same level with, or even 
above that of Paris ; " blessed are the poor in spirit," says the Gospel : 
there is their epitaph ready made ; it is quite true that the situation of 
this cemetery is magnificent, and that the view one enjoys from the 
highest point is very extended, but so far as the monuments go the 
boundary posts of the postal routes in Italy would here be admired 
not only for the beauty of their granite but also for their good taste 
as architecture. 

I went to several booksellers' shops, which I found well stocked 
with foreign works, there being magnificent editions of these made in 
Boston which could bear comparison with the best English and French 
editions, and which were certainly superior to what is engraved and 
printed in the rest of Europe ; but the somewhat high prices of these 
books prevented me from purchasing as many as I should have wished. 

I visited the Athenaeum and Museum, an establishment founded by 


the subscriptions of the citizens. Among other things one finds there 
casts of our best statues and groups, a collection of coins, and a consid- 
erable library. The director, 1 whose name I greatly regret to have 
forgotten, showed me some precious manuscripts, and, among the most 
beautiful works, he showed me that of my compatriot, Giulio Ferrari ; 
if I am not mistaken the title is / costumi di tutti i popoli della terra. 
My national pride was so much stirred by the pompous eulogies which 
he made on the work of Italy and on the Italians that I could not 
refrain from telling him that I belonged to that beautiful and unhappy 
country. Then he added things very agreeable to the ear of a true 
patriot, and informed me that the Americans owe to an Italian, to Carlo 
Botta, the best history of their country. 

I visited the Market and other things of little importance. I 
attended the representation of a tragedy, very well played, in a fairly 
pretty theatre, and before a public composed of a better class than one 
generally meets in the New York theatres. I went to see the Univer- 
sity at Cambridge. I made a trip to Bunker's Hill, where was won 
the first battle against the regular troops of Great Britain by simple 
American farmers, — a victory which inspired a confidence in the 
Americans and which served as an opening to the great drama of which 
we see now the gigantic results. 

When the Americans read in the travels of Fanny Kemble that a 
gentleman (if indeed one can designate him by this name) seeing an- 
other in a steamboat brush his teeth, begged him to lend him the brush 
when he had finished, which the latter did very politely, but when the 
brush was returned, he threw it overboard ; the other took umbrage 
and asked whether he thought his mouth was cleaner than his own 
(and that, possibly, from the proverb that there is nothing cleaner than 
the tongue of a dog) ; happily, the affair was settled amicably : the 
Americans, I say, on reading this little episode, utter shrill cries, 
" that 's infamy ! that ? s calumny ! " In fact, that appears to be a false 
accusation, a farce, a poor bit of pleasantry. As for myself, in all honor 
and conscience, I believe the thing, if not true, at least possible and 
even probable, for in Boston, preeminently the civilized city, and at the 
Tremont House, the best and most fashionable hotel, there is in every 
chamber a nail-brush and a tooth-brush for the use of all travellers ; 
let honor be rendered to the truth. 2 

These are the sights to which an intelligent traveller who 
visited Boston in 1837 was conducted: the State House; the 
Faneuil Hall Market ; the Athenaeum, which then occupied the 

1 Probably Seth Bass, M.D., Librarian, 1825-1846. 

2 R. Bonfadini : Vita di Francesco Arese (Roux : Turin, 1894), 415-544. " Notes 
d'un voyage dans les prairies et dans l'interieur de l'Ame'rique septentrionale " 
par le Corate Francois Arese en 1837. 


house in Pearl Street given to it by Mr. James Perkins; 
Bunker 1 1 ill, winch had not yet its completed monument; 
Harvard College; the Dry Dock at Charlestown Navy Yard, 
ami Mount Auburn Cemetery, consecrated in 1831. Being 
a studious man, Count Arese naturally wished to see the 
booksellers' shops; and being an Italian, he listened gratefully 
to the praise of his countrymen. The first volume of Ban- 
croft's " History " had appeared in 1834, but Carlo Botta — if 
that amiable librarian, whom I have not identified, spoke the 
truth — was still regarded as the historian of America. That 
Boston was already accepted as the Athens of America may 
seem strange to those of our time who imagine that her 
reputation was founded on the works, now classic, of Emerson 
and Longfellow, Lowell and Motley, Prescott and Parkman, 
not one of whom, in 1837, had achieved fame. It brings that 
day and ours together to remember that if our late associate 
Dr. Hale were here to-day, as only a few months ago it 
seemed probable that he would be, he might have told us that 
it was he who, as a Junior, showed Count Arese round Har- 
vard College, or listened at the Athenseum while the genial 
librarian extolled Carlo Botta. Count Arese died in 1881. 
His " Notes of Travel" were printed in 1894. 

Dr. Green communicated a paper as follows : 
Colonel William Prescott ; and Groton Soldiers at the 
Battle of Bunker Hill. 

The French and Indian War was the school where the chief 
actors in the Revolution learned their first lessons. Artemas 
Ward, who was the commander-in-chief of the American 
army until the arrival of Washington at Cambridge, on 
July 3, 1775 ; Richard Gridley, the engineer who laid out 
the works on Bunker Hill and planned the fortifications 
around Boston ; and William Prescott, the commander at the 
Battle, — these officers and many others received their early 
military education during this period. The French and 
Indian War was the last and severest of the intercolonial 
struggles, and the Indians fought on each side, though mostly 
with the French and against the English. The first conflict 
of arms took place in May, 1754, and the war continued until 
a treaty of peace was made in February, 1763. 

Among the manuscripts belonging to the Historical Society 


is a paper which gives the names of twenty-five men who 
were enlisted by William Prescott in a regiment to be em- 
ployed for the removal of the Acadians, though no place of 
enlistment is given. To any one familiar with the home 
of Prescott the omission to mention the place of enlistment 
is of little importance, as the family names of the men fur- 
nish the desired information. Without doubt they all be- 
longed in Groton and its neighborhood, and there are many 
descendants still living there. Job Shattuck, whose name 
appears in the list, thirty years later became a conspicuous 
character in Shays's Rebellion. It has long been known that 
William Prescott was a lieutenant in the Provincial army 
sent in the spring of 1755 to remove the neutral French from 
Nova Scotia ; but this record shows that he had already been 
active in enlisting men for that purpose. At that period of 
time the township of Groton spread over a much larger terri- 
tory than it now covers, but since then by legislative enact- 
ment it has been materially dismembered and has lost several 
towns from the original grant. ■ One half of the men mentioned 
in this list served in the War for Independence; and, of course, 
during these intervening j^ears others had died. 

The aforesaid paper is found in a volume marked on the 
back " Winslow Papers 1737-1755 " (p. 87) ; and the list of 
names is as follows : 

A List of the Men Inlisted by William Prescott in a Regiment of 
foot to be Employed for the Removal of the French Incroachments in 
North America Whereof His Excellency William Shirley Esq r . is 
Colonel and John Winslow Esq r Lieutenant Colonel 

Isaac Green Phinehas Barron 

William Spanieling Junl James Lessley 

Eleazer Spaulding John Lessley 

John Kemp Jun' George Lessley 

Jabez Kemp Amos Whiting 

Jonathan Shedd Elipbalet Dinsmore 

William Shedd Asa Dinsmore 

Eleazer Whipple Jonathan Melvin 

Isaac Williams Jun r Job Shattock 

Samuel Fisk Simeon Lakin 

Nathaniel Sartwell Abraham Boyenten 

Simon Lakin Moses Woods 

Oliver Eliot 

February 28 th . 1755 


It was in the spring of 1755 that the territory of Acadia, or 
Nova Scotia, fell under British authority; and the conquest 
was followed by a terrible act of cruelty and violence. The 
simple Acadians, unsuspicious of any untoward designs of the 
English leaders, were assembled in their churches in obedi- 
ence to military proclamation ; and thence, without being 
allowed to return to their homes, were driven at the point of 
the bayonet aboard ship to be scattered through the English 
colonies in America. This was done with so little regard to 
humanity that in many instances wives were separated from 
husbands and children from parents, never to see one another 
again. It was upon an incident connected with this act of 
tyranny that Longfellow's poem of " Evangeline " is founded. 
Our pity for these unfortunate people will be stronger when 
we reflect that in their exile they were miserably poor, among 
a race who spoke a strange language, followed other customs 
and abominated their religion. 

In the report of a Committee, dated April 18, 1761, which 
was appointed by the General Court to distribute French 
Neutrals among the towns of Middlesex County (Massachu- 
setts Archives, xxiv. 468) it is stated that they have assigned to 


Rain Bobbin 

Marg* his wife 

John his son 

Matturen D° 

Joseph D° 


Marg 1 Marichal 

[aged] 37 
5 weeks 

Mary Bobbin daugh* 

of Rain 




Paul Oliver Bobbin 


Peter Bobbin son to Rain Bobbin of Groton 5 

The surname, perhaps, is spelled wrong, as people in those 
days were not used to writing foreign words; very likely it 
should have been Beaubien. Other families were sent at the 
same time to Dunstable, Westford, and Littleton. 

In connection with the reference in this paper to William 
Prescott, it may be of interest to note a fact that bears closely 
on the question of the commandership at the Battle of Bun- 
ker Hill. The circumstances surrounding the army at the 


beginning of the Revolution were such that there may have 
been only slight formality in assigning a command, but there 
is no evidence that Prescott ever received any order from 
others in that memorable engagement, while he himself acted 
under orders from General Ward. In modern times certain 
captious critics have tried to deprive the old Revolutionary 
soldier of the credit of this command ; but it was the univer- 
sal testimony of his army comrades, that the supreme authority 
in that action rested with him alone. The fact alluded to at 
the beginning of this paragraph is found in a letter from Gen- 
eral Ward to John Adams, written four mouths after the 
battle was fought ; and by the courtesy of the Adams family 
I am enabled now to print it, as follows : 

Roxbury Camp, October 23, 1775. 

Sir, — Yesterday I Rec d . your favour of the fifth Instant, a week 
after the arival of M r Lynch, 1 although I had been twice in his company 
before. I have indeavoured to treat the Gentlemen Committe with 
Decency and Politeness, I invited them to Roxbury twice. The clay 
after I invited them M r . Lynch came to Roxbury, but did not dine 
with me, he being Ingaged to dine with Genl. Washington as he said. 
The next day I was at Cambridge, and mentioned to Washington his 
and the Com tee dining with me. He answered they could not untill 
they had finished their business and he would let me know when they 
would come and dine with me. Major [Samuel] Osgood informs me 
Gen 1 . Washington told the Com tee that I depended on their dining with 
me this day. 

This day Gen 1 . Gates wrote to the field officers of y e Connecticot 
forces, that the Com tee did accept their invitation to dine with them, and 
accordingly came and dined with them. When they came I informed 
them I expected they would have dined with me, they said they thought 
till then, that accepting of the one invitation, was accepting the other ; 
that is they were one and y e same invitation. I afterward invited them 
to dine with me tomorrow. They told me if they did not set out on 
their Journey they were Ingaged to dine with Gen 1 . Putnam. I think 
I have given a true state of facts, and now Judge whither, I have been 
deficient in inviting, and whither I have not been 111 treated. What 
would not some men do, to make this Colony and the Inhabitants 
thereof appear contemptible? 

1 Thomas Lynch, member of the Continental Congress from South Carolina 
and at this time one of the special committee sent by Congress to report upon the 
army. The other members of the committee were Benjamin Franklin and 
Benjamin Harrison. 


Oct . 30, 1775. 

They do not boast so much of the Riflemen as heretofore Gen 1 . 
Washington has said be wished they had never come ; Gen 1 Lee has 
damned them and wished them all in Boston ; Gen 1 Gates has said, if 
any capital movement was about to be made the Riflemen must be 
moved from this Camp. 

I am in great concern about the raising a new army, for the Genious 
of this people is different from those to the southward. Our people 
are Jealous, and are not Inclineable to act upon an Implicit faith, they 
Chuse to see and Judge for themselves. They remember what was 
said of them by some that came from the Southward last summer, 
which makes them backward in Inlisting or manifesting a willingness to 

Its my opinion we should have began a month ago to Ingage men 
for another Campain. If the present armys time should be out, and 
no other secured I fear the Enemy will take advantage thereof. I wish 
Gen 1 . Frye might be provided for, I think him a good man for the ser- 
vice, and am very sorry he has not been provided for by the Continen- 
tal Congress before this time. 

Some have said hard things of the officers belonging to this Colony, 
and despised them, but I think as mean as they have represented them to 
be, there has been no one action with the enemy, which has not been con- 
ducted by an officer of this Colony, except that at Chelsea, which was con- 
ducted by Gen 1 . Putnam. [Italics mine.] 

I am this moment informed, that Major Tupper of this Colony and 
off the army hath seized two vessels at the Vineyard loaded with oyl, 
Belonging to [Benjamin M.] Holmes, and [John] Coffin in Boston two 
Tories, and has Carried them into Plymouth, he having been dispatched 
for that purpose. He now desires to resign his command in the army, 
and take the command of one of those vessels, when fitted out for a 

You mentioned the scene is thickning, I hope as that thickens our 
deliverance approaches. I have no doubt, but we shall finally come off 
victorious, if we continue persevering. There has not been one action 
with the enemy, without a signal appearance of Divine Providence in 
our favour. If so what reason can we have to doubt of success more 
than when we began. 

I should have wrote you before, but was prevented by Iudisposition 
and frequent avocations of a publiek nature, and probable you may 
think I had better have spent by [my] time some other way than in 
writing the above. I hope you will excuse all the foregoing Inaccura- 
cies and honor me with a line, in the mean time I rest your affectionate 
friend and humble servant 

Artemas Ward. 

Honorable John Adams Esq r . 


The pith of the evidence lies in Ward's statement that every 
action with the enemy thus far has been conducted by an 
officer of this Colony, except that at Chelsea, when Putnam 
was in command. The statement is found in the fourth 
paragraph of that part of the letter which is dated October 30, 
and says inferentially that Putnam did not command on 
June 17. In the reprint this paragraph has been italicized. 
No better authority on this question could be given than 
General Ward, as he was the commander of the Provincial 
army at the time of the Battle of Bunker Hill, and continued 
as such until the arrival of General Washington on July 3. 
The skirmish at Chelsea took place on May 27, three weeks 
before the action on Bunker Hill. 

Interested for various reasons in the town of Groton I am 
desirous that the record of her soldiers, who took part in the 
battle, should be correctly made ; and to that end with no 
apology I offer the following facts. 

One commissioned officer and ten enlisted men, residents 
of Groton, were either killed or mortally wounded in the 
battle. The roll of honor comprises the names of Lieutenant 
Amaziah Fassett, who fell wounded and died a prisoner in 
Boston, a short time later, on July 5 ; Sergeant Benjamin 
Prescott, eldest son of the Hon. James Prescott, and nephew 
of Colonel William Prescott, the commander on the American 
side ; and Privates Abraham Blood, Chambers Corey, James 
Dodge, Peter Fisk, Stephen Foster, Simon Hobart, Jonathan 
Jenkins, Robert Parker, and Benjamin Woods. 

This loss was the largest suffered by any one town in the 
battle, and shows the patriotic character of the citizens at that 
period. These soldiers were serving in five different com- 
panies of Colonel Prescott's regiment, and their names now 
appear on the bronze tablets which have been placed near the 
scene of action by the city of Boston in memory of the brave 
men who fell in that historic engagement. It is highly prob- 
able that Amos Fisk, killed in the battle, was another Groton 
soldier who fell on that day, but his name does not appear in 
the list, as there is a trifling doubt connected with the fact. 
In a newspaper account his Christian name is given as Amasa, 
which is wrong. The name of David Kemp is given on the 
tablets, but for reasons stated below has been omitted by 
me in this paper. 



Colonel Prescott, the commander of the American forces, 
was a native of Groton, and at least three of the Pepperell 
soldiers who lost their lives in the fight were also natives. 

In connection with the names that are given on the tablets 
set up by the city, there is a singular error worth noting. 
David Kemp, of Groton, is named as one of the men who was 
killed in the action, though fortunately he was only captured, 
and afterward taken to Halifax. By mistake he was reported 
as dying on September 10, while a prisoner in Boston, and for 
a long time his family mourned him as dead. It is not recorded 
when they first heard of his safety, but probably it was many 
months after the battle. 

In " The Boston-Gazette, and Country Journal " (Water- 
town), July 29, 1776, it is said: 

Last Tuesday Evening came to town from Halifax, Lieut. Scott of 
Peterborough, in New Hampshire Government, who was wounded and 
taken Prisoner at the memorable Battle of Bunker Hill the 17th of June, 
1775, and has been a Prisoner ever since. He informs, That he with 
13 others broke Goal about 5 Weeks ago and betook themselves to the 
Woods where they seperated ; that Captain Martindale and his first 
and second Lieutenants', John Brown Rifleman Leonard Briggs of 
Ware [Wareham?], and himself arrived at Truro at the head of Cob- 
becut river, after a travel of 3 days, where they procured a boat and 
got to the Eastward; that Richard Carpenter formerly Barber in this 
town, Philip Johnson Peak, David Kemp of Groton, and Corporal 
Cruse of Virginia, and two others took the road to Windsor where 
they were apprehended and confined in irons; that Benjamin Willson 
of Billerica, one of the Bunker Hill Prisoners died lately in goal ; and 
that he left Master James Lovell still confin'd, in high health and 

From the foregoing newspaper account it appears that 
David Kemp did not die in Boston on September 10, 1775, as 
is recorded in the Company Return among the Massachusetts 
Archives (lvi. 70); and furthermore, that he was alive 
nearly one year after the memorable engagement. The fol- 
lowing petition, printed in the Journal of the Massachusetts 
House of Representatives (page 104), September 13, 1776, 
gives the exact date of Kemp's escape as well as other inter- 
esting facts : 

A petition of David Kemp, of Groton, setting forth, that his son 
David Kemp, jun. a soldier in Capt. Parker's company, in Col. Pres- 


cot's regiment, was taken prisoner at the Battle at Bunker 1 s-Hill, the 
17th June, 1775, and carried to Halifax, where he remained till the 
loth June last ; that he was not made up in said Parker's roll, only to 
the 17th June, therefore praying that his wages to this time may be 
allowed him. 

Read and committed to Capt. Kimball, Mr. Ingals and Mr. White. 

In connection with the facts here given it may be interest- 
ing to note the action of the General Court, taken nine months 
after the battle. It is printed in the Journal of the Massa- 
chusetts House of Representatives (page 23), and shows the 
accuracy — or the inaccuracy perhaps — of an official publi- 
cation, though in this case there were good grounds for the 

Thursday, March 21, 1776 (Afternoon). 

An Account of David Kemp, for Loss of Cloaths and other Articles, 
sustained by his late Son David Kemp, taken in the Engagement on 
Bunkers-Hill, on the seventeenth of June last, and since dead. 

Among my earliest recollections of boyhood was seeing a 
few old men who were known as " pensioners," but what that 
word meant, or why it was applied to them, I was wholly in 
the dark. Later I learned that they had served in the Revo- 
lution. For the most part such persons wore low-crowned 
hats with broad brims, like other old men of that period. 
Some of them, I remember, wore cues, but as their hair was 
not over-abundant, the crinal appendages were both short and 
thin. These recollections carry me back to the men who took 
an active part in the Revolution, though then they were not 
much older than those who served in the War of the Rebellion 
are now. To some of us the men who served in the cam- 
paigns of 1861-65 do not seem old, though they are no longer 
young. Doubtless the boys of to-day look upon these later 
veterans with very much the same feeling as we looked upon 
those of a former generation. To me the events connected 
with the Rebellion were burned so deeply into my very being 
and have left such clear outlines on my memory that they 
seem rather recent. I could readily believe that the first Battle 
of Bull Run was fought long after the Great Fire of Boston 
which took place thirty-seven years ago this very week. 


Mr. Norckoss communicated the following note on the 
portrait in the Society's Cabinet long supposed to be that of 
the Rev. John Wilson, minister of the First Church in Boston, 
written by Frank E. Bradish, to accompany a recent paper 
by him read before the Bostonian Society : 

The portrait in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society 
lias been many times reproduced by engraving as the likeness of Rev. 
John Wilson, but its authenticity has long been questioned. It was 
given to the Society, according to their records, by Henry Bromfield, 
February 1, 1798. In September, 18G7 (Proceedings, x., page 41), 
Doctor John Appleton stated his reasons for thinking that this was not 
a likeness of Rev. John Wilson ; first, because the work bears the 
characteristics of a period later than Wilson's death ; secondly, because 
the costume is that of a later period ; thirdly, because it seemed to 
have been painted in Europe ; fourthly, because Cotton Mather, who 
had been baptized by John Wilson, was on intimate terms with Edward 
Rawson, who was supposed to be the first owner of this portrait, and 
Mather less than thirty years after Wilson's death recites the story, 
probably told him by Rawson, of Wilson's emphatic refusal to allow 
his picture to be drawn, even at the urgent request of Rawson himself. 
John Wilson the younger was one of the appraisers of Rawson's estate, 
and we may assume that if he had found a portrait of his father there, 
it would appear in the inventory. 

In December, 1880 (Proceedings, xviii., page 264), Mr. Winthrop 
read to the Society a letter written to him by President Quincy, 
May 19, 1857, which had escaped the files of the Society and had been 
apparently overlooked by Doctor Appleton. In this letter Mr. Quincy 
states that this " portrait of the Rev. John Wilson, the first Clergyman 
of Boston, now in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society,'' 
had been presented to the Society at his instance by Hon. William 
Phillips, on the death of Miss Elizabeth Bromfield in 1814. "I deem 
it proper, therefore, to state to you, as President of that institution, that 
the portrait in question was carefully preserved from the earliest times, 
among his descendants in the Bromfield family, certainly for more than 
a century." Mr. Quincy remarks that Edward Bromfield married, in 
1683, Mary, daughter of Rev. Samuel Danforth, and grand-daughter 
of Rev. John Wilson, and he adds that he has stated these facts, " that 
there may be no longer any doubt concerning the authenticity of that 

Rev. John Wilson died in 1667, which was eighty-four years before 
the birth of his great-great-great-grandson, Henry Bromfield, the donor 
of the picture ; seventy-two years before the birth of Henry's sister, 
Elizabeth Bromfield, of whom Mr. Quincy speaks ; and one hundred 


and five years before the birth of President Quincy, who was himself 
John Wilson's great-great-great-great-grandson ; to all three of them a 
picture much later than John Wilson's time would seem ancient, and a 
very slender thread of tradition in their youth would grow into a strong 
chain of evidence in their old age. 

The public records, however, furnish even a more solid basis for 
Doctor Appleton's doubts. The inventory * of the estate of Edward 
Bromfield, the emigrant, was taken February 11, 1734-35 and one of 
the items is " Dr. Owen's picture,'' valued at seventy shillings ; no 
other portrait is inventoried. 

Dr. John Owen was a distinguished theologian, whose personal 
appearance was familiar to all well-read Puritans of that time, but 
his fame had not entirely overshadowed in Boston that of Rev. John 
Wilson, whose incomparable services to the founders of New England 
were still fresh in the memories of their children. Had Air. Bromfield 
possessed a portrait of Mr. Wilson, his executor would not have failed 
to exhibit it to the appraisers, and they would certainly have named it 
in the inventory with the likeness of the great Oxonian ; that it does 
not appear in that list proves that Edward Bromfield did not own such 
a portrait at the time of his death. Whether the picture owned by the 
Massachusetts Historical Society is a likeness of Dr. Owen is not 
germane to the subject of this paper, and is a question requiring 
extended and careful investigation. 

Mr. Howe, in preparing his " Life and Letters of George 
Bancroft" from the collection of manuscripts now deposited 
with the Society, was struck by the value of the papers here 
printed, but did not consider them appropriate to the biography. 
On his behalf Mr. Ford brought them before the Society. 
They relate to two interesting events, the so-called Mecklen- 
burg Declaration of Independence, of May 20, 1775, and the 
annexation of Texas. 

Negative evidence is often even stronger than positive 
evidence in historical treatment. Outside of North Carolina, 
and even outside of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, the 
general consensus of opinion is that there was no declaration 
other than that of May 31, 1775. Andrew Stevenson, when 
minister to the Court of St. James, saw in the British Archives 
the documents and despatches sent from North Carolina at the 
time, and found no such Declaration as is claimed by its 
advocates. Ten years later President Polk asks Bancroft, 
then minister to England, to make an examination of the 

» Suffolk Probate. 


same documents. Not only was Polk keenly interested in the 
subject for personal as well as historical reasons, but Bancroft, 

who owed so much to Polk in his public career, had every 
reason to gratify his wishes and establish a fact that would so 
greatly have redounded to the reputation of the Polk family. 
It is unfortunate that Bancroft's replies to Polk have not been 
traced ; but it is known that he found nothing to support the 
claims of the Declaration of May 20, 1775. 

The second correspondence relates to Polk's attitude on 
the annexation of Texas. A similar inquiry was made of 
Buchanan, who was Secretary of State in Polk's cabinet, and 
the reply is printed in " Works of James Buchanan," viii. 240. 
The same question was sent to other members of the cabinet, 
but the answers are not to be found. 

Polk to Bancroft. 

Washington City, June 17, 1848. 

My dear Sir, — The accompanying papers arid printed volume, 
have been transmitted to me, by Ex. Governor Swain 1 of N. Carolina, 
now President of the University of that State, with a request that I 
would forward them to you. Mr. Swain has been for some time 
engaged in making researches into the early history of the two Caro- 
liuas. The Declaration of Independence by the people of Mecklenburg 
on the 20th of May, 1775, and their Resolves passed on the 31st of 
the same month are interesting events. Mr. Swain whom I saw a year 
ago, when on a visit to the University of N. C, thinks it more than 
probable that the Reports of the Colonial Governor (Martin' 2 ) to this 
Government, may be found among the archives of the Brittish Govern- 
ment. If he is right in this, and you could obtain copies, or the sub- 
stance of these Reports, they would be very interesting, especially to 
the people of the two Carolinas. 

I have not written to you for many months, first because I had 
nothing of interest to communicate, and secondly, because there has 
been no relaxation of my labours since you left. Every moment of 
my time is occupied and I am compelled to neglect almost entirely, my 
correspondence with my friends. 

It may I think be regarded as certain that there is peace with Mexico. 
A despatch received from Messrs Sevier and Clifford, 8 under date of 

1 David Lowrey Swain. 

2 Josiah Martin, the last of the royal governors of the Colony, who served 

a Ambrose Hundley Sevier and Nathan Clifford, commissioners to Mexico to 
exchange ratifications of treaty of peace. 


the 25th ultimo at Queretaro, announces the fact of the ratification of 
the Treaty by both branches of the Mexican Congress. All that re- 
mained to be done, was the formal exchange of ratifications, which 
would probably take place in two or three days from the date of their 

The Presidential contest promises to be a violent one. Factions of 
each party are not satisfied with their respective nominees. The New 
York Barnburners x are producing great embarrassment in the Demo- 
cratic party. They are highly excited and I fear irreconcilable. The 
great probability is that their course will insure the vote of N. York to 
the Whig Candidate. I am however confident that the Democracy can 
elect Genl. Cass without the vote of New York. I hope they may be 
able to do so. 

I am rejoiced that I shall soon retire from the incessant labours, cares 
and anxieties of my office, which as you know have been very great 
during my whole term. 2 

With the respectful salutations of Mrs. Polk and myself to Mrs. 
Bancroft : I am, my dear Sir, Your friend etc. etc. 

James K. Polk. 

P. S. As Mecklenburg N. C. is my native County, I take a 
lively interest in all that concerns the early history of that part of N. C. 
Yours &c. J. K. P. 

Polk to Bancroft. 

Private and Unofficial. Washington Citv, Sept. 15th, 1848. 

My Dear Sir, — I wrote a long letter to you, a few days ago, and 
hope to receive your answer as early as you may find it convenient to 
give it. I was gratified to learn that you had succeeded in finding in 
the Brinish Archives, evidence fully confirming the fact of the Declara- 
tion of Independence, made by the people of Mecklenburg, and the 
movements for liberty in that part of North Carolina, as early as May, 
1775. The authenticity of these bold and patriotic proceedings, though 
long since established by satisfactory proofs, had still been doubted by 
some. The fact which you state that " Governor Sir James Wright of 
Georgia, was the first to send from America a Copy of the Mecklenburg 
Resolves " and that this " copy is still in its place," is a very impor- 
tant one. I must request the favour of you, to procure for me a copy 
of the Resolves, and especially a copy of the official communication of 
the Governor, made to his Government in transmitting them. You 
state that " connected with the Mecklenburg Resolves, are two or three. 

1 The Van Buren wing, which ran an independent ticket, in order to defeat 
Lewis Cass. 

2 Buchanan asserted that in the four years of office Polk became an old man. 
and was killed by its anxieties. — Buchanan, " Works/' vm. -ibo, 458. 


little passages in letters and journals " of which you will send me copies, 
if I desire them. If it shall not put you to too much inconvenience to 
procure them, I shall be gratified to receive them, and also to receive a 
synopsis of the proceedings of the " Regulators," to which you refer. 1 
Being myself a native of Mecklenburg, and many of my ancestors hav- 
ing taken an active part in these Revolutionary proceedings, I take a 
peculiar interest in all that relates to them. 

I am much gratified at the assurauce you give me, in your letter of 
the oth ultimo, of the "great advancement which the American name, 
has in the last three years made in the respect of all Europe, and in 
the affections of all lovers of free Government." It has so happened 
that during my administration a succession of great and important pub- 
lic questions, foreign and domestic, have arisen, involving high respon- 
sibilities, great labour, and constant anxiety and vigilance. If I have 
been so fortunate, as to be reasonably successful in their management, 
I can only attribute that success, to an honest purpose, a strict adher- 
ence to principle which has ever been my guide, and to the patriotic 
support which I have received from the people. If I can close my 
administration, leaving the country prosperous, the measure of my am- 
bition will be full. You are right in your observation, that all the old 
issues which divided the political parties of the Country in 1840 and 
1844, have been virtually settled. The party opposed to the Demo- 
cratic policy upon these issues, manifest an unwillingness further to agi- 
tate them, or to resist the settlement of them which has been made. 
The only remaining subject giving rise to any considerable excitement 
and division of opinion is that to which you allude in your letter, and 
relates to the organization of Governments in the territories recently 
acquired from Mexico; and this would be readily settled (and I hope 
will be during my time) were it not for the agitation of the delicate and 
distracting question of slavery. Much excitement existed in Congress, 
upon this subject, during the last weeks of the late Session. An act 
was at length passed, providing a Territorial Government for Oregon, 
and I deeply regret that Governments, based on principles of conces- 
sion and compromise on the slavery question, had not also been estab- 
lished over New Mexico and California. Had this been done, the 
agitation of the Slavery question, so far as practical measures are 
concerned, would have ceased. In view of the excitement which ex- 
isted, threatening to array the country into geographical parties, which 
could not fail to destroy the harmony, and might endanger the existence 
of the Union itself, I felt it to be proper to accompany the announce- 
ment of my approval and signature of the Oregon Bill, with the Message 

1 The story of the " Regulators of North Carolina (1765-1771) " is very fully 
told by John Spencer Bassett in the American Historical Association's report for 
the year 1894, 141. 


which you have doubtless seen. 1 In that Message the reasons for 
yielding my official sanction were succinctly given. The question of 
difficulty which was involved was not an original one, arising for the 
first time. Had it been, my opinion and my action might have been 
different. But it was a question which had been twice adjusted by my 
predecessors, upon principles of concession and compromise, between 
the North and the South, — once in the case of Missouri, and again in 
the case of Texas, and all sections and all parties had acquiesced in the 
Compromise for more than a quarter of a ceutur}'. It would have been 
a momentous responsibility, and one which might have involved the in- 
tegrity of the Union itself, to have disturbed this compromise by an 
Executive veto. My Message, at the same time, that it expresses my 
well considered convictions of duty, under the circumstances, which 
existed; it was hoped would tend to allay the excitement in the differ- 
ent sections of the Union. I am flattered with the belief, that it has to 
some extent, at least, produced that effect. Before my official action on 
the Oregon Bill was known, I was strongly urged to with-hold from it 
my sanction. A Southern convention, I was informed, was openly 
spoken of by Members of Congress. I gave my approval to the Bill, 
and protested against such a Convention, as calculated to do no possible 
good, but on the contrary to widen the breach between the North and 
the South, upon a question which I believed and still believe ought to 
have been, and can still be, settled by a satisfactory compromise. Since 
the appearance of the message I have heard nothing further of the proj- 
ect of a Southern Convention. I have now, reasonable ground to hope, 
that the question may be settled at the next Session of Congress, by 
extending the Missouri and Texas compromise line west to the Pacific. 
If this compromise shall not be adopted, the subject may be referred to 
the Judiciary, as was proposed by a Bill passed by the Senate, or some 
other compromise may be agreed upon, which if not entirely satisfactory 
to all sections, will be acquiesced in by the country. When the Presi- 
dential Election shall be over, I have great confidence that the question 
can be adjusted, and from all I hear I think it will be, at the next Ses- 
sion. 2 It cannot I think be doubted that some of the leading men of 
the Whig party, North and South, preferred to have no settlement of 
the Slavery question at the late Session of Congress, but desired to 
keep it an open issue, with a view to political agitation, calculating 
upon its effect upon the Presidential Election. The establishment of a 
Territorial Government over Oregon has deprived them to that extent 
of the wicked use, which they may have designed to make of so delicate 
and dangerous a question. 

1 Message of August 14, 1848, in " Messages and Papers of the Presidents,'' 
iv. 606. 
2 The compromise measure of 1850 pretended to determine the controversy. 



There is less excitement upon the Presidential Election than is usual. 
There is every prospect at present of Genl. diss's Election. Indeed 
1 consider this result as almost certain. The whole contest is between 
Genl. Cass and Genl. Taylor, the regular nominees of their respective 
parties. Mr. Van-Buren, it is true, is the Candidate of the Barnburn- 
ers and Abolitionists, and received their nomination at their Convention 
at Buffalo, but he stands I think, no possible chance of carrying a 
single Electoral vote, out of New York, and every day diminishes his 
chances of success, even in that State. Three distinct tickets for 
Electors, and possibly a fourth (for Clay) will be run in New York, 
and a plurality will decide the vote of the State. I deplore the great 
error, which Mr. Van-Buren has committed, in suffering himself to 
occupy his present false position. 

With the kind salutations of Mrs. Polk and myself to Mrs. Bancroft. 
I remain Very faithfully Your friend 

James K. Polk. 

Polk to Bancroft. 

Private. Washington City, Jany 22, 1849. 

My dear Sir, — Before I received your letter of the 29th ultimo, 
I had written to you and had anticipated the request you make, that I 
would give you my advice, whether you had better resign on the 4th of 
March, or await your recal, should it be the pleasure of the President 
Elect to recal you. It was, and is, my decided opinion that you should 
not voluntarily relinquish your mission. In my letter I assigned the 
reasons for this opinion. I may add that you have been eminently 
successful in all the negotiations intrusted to you, and the whole coun- 
try, of all parties, are abundantly satisfied that an abler and more 
faithful Representative could not succeed you. Your postal Treaty and 
your successful efforts to procure the release of American citizens im- 
prisoned in Ireland, are very popular throughout the country, and your 
recal could be attributed to no other cause, than that you belong to a 
different political party, than that of the President elect. That the 
next Administration will be proscriptive, notwithstanding the protesta- 
tions to the contrary before the election I do not doubt ; still I doubt 
whether you will be disturbed, at all events during the early part of 
the next term. Should I be mistaken in this, your recal could do you 
no possible injury. 

I thank you for the Mecklenburg papers which you sent to me. Gov. 
Swain, President of the University of N. Carolina, I see communicated 
to the Governor of that State, a letter from you and a portion (perhaps 
all) the papers which you sent to me. The Governor laid them before 
the Legislature and your letter to Mr Swain has been published. 


Your agency in bringing these papers to light has rendered you very 
popular in N. Carolina and indeed in all the Southern States. The 
main paper connected with the proceedings of the people of Mecklen- 
burg you have not given. It is the formal Declaration of Independence 
itself, which was adopted on the 20th May, 1775. This paper was 
forwarded to the General Congress at Philadelphia, by Capt. Jack, a 
person employed specially to bear it. Governor Martin in his despatch 
to the Home Government, which you have sent to me refers to it. In 
his Proclamation issued, I believe, in the autumn of 1775, when the 
Governor was on board the ship to sail for England, denounces it as 
treasonable. The Resolves which you have sent to me, were passed a 
few weeks after the formal Declaration of Independence was made. 
This Declaration was doubtless transmitted or carried in person to 
England by Governor Martin. If it is to be found in the Brittish 
Archives, it will be conclusive evidence of the fact of such Declara- 
tion having been made, a fact which Mr Jefferson more than doubted. 
I dislike to trouble you further on the subject, but must request that 
you will cause a further search to be made for the Declaration of May 
20th, 1775, which is the main-paper and the leading proceeding of the 
patriotic people of Mecklenburg. To aid you in any further researches 
you may have it in your power to make, I inclose you extracts of two 
letters, which I have received on the subject from William H. Winder 
Esqr. of Philadelphia. Mr Winder is the son of the late Genl. Winder 
of Baltimore, and that you may understand the reason of the interest 
he takes in the matter, I inform you that his mother was a Polk, 
descended from the same stock with myself. He is preparing a gene- 
alogical Tree of the Polk family, and as several of its members partici- 
pated actively in the proceedings in Mecklenburg, he desires to show 
their connection with the interesting events which took place in Meck- 
lenburg. To me the subject is peculiarly interesting, for though the 
vile slander which was heaped upon the memory of my Grandfather, 
in the Presidential canvass of 1844, has been sufficiently refuted by 
other testimony, yet any thing which establishes the authenticity of 
the Mecklenburg proceedings, will tend still more clearly to put to 
shame the revilers of his memory. I have now in my possession a 
printed copy of the Journal of " The Provincial Congress " of S. C, 
held at Charles Town in June, 1775, at which Ezekiel Polk (my Grand- 
father) was a member. By that Congress he was appointed a Captain 
and I have in my possession his original Commission on parchment, 
under which he served in the Revolutionary War. He represented a 
District in " The Provincial Congress " of S. C. adjoining Mecklen- 
burg, and was present, at Charlotte, and was among those who adopted 
" the Declaration of Independence," on the 20th of May, 1775. The 
copy of the Journal which I have, was sent to me by an aged man in 


N. Carolina, since I have been President, who stated to me in a letter 
which accompanied it, that he had found it among the old papers of his 
father, who was also a member of the Provincial Congress. He sent 
it to me as containing a conclusive refutation of the slander which the 
recklessness of party had invented against the memory of Ezekiel Polk^ 
for the purpose of injuriously affecting his Grandson, when a candidate 
for the Presidency. The copy of the Journal which I have, is a small 
printed pamphlet, and is the only one I have ever heard of. As it is 
probable that but few copies were printed, it may be the only copy now 
to be found. It is a curious as well as a valuable document. It may 
possibly be of use to you, in the further preparation of your history, 
and if so, I will furnish you with the original or an exact copy of it, 
should you desire it. 

With kind regards to Mrs. Bancroft. I am Truly yr friend, 

James K. Polk. 


William H. Winder to Polk. 

23 Sep., 1848. 

... I have given some little attention to the pamphlet received by 
me from Mr Hill of Raleigh, being the one printed by authority of the 
Legislature of North Carolina. 1 My attention was called to this matter 
some years since and the result was that the testimony was not conclu- 
sive and satisfactory. And this second perusal has not removed the dis- 
appointment and doubt. On this account I very greatly rejoice that Mr. 
Bancroft has obtained access to the original documents, which I am of 
opinion will prove to differ from those in this pamphlet. . . . 

Again Gov Martin's proclamation issued from on board ship to which 
he had fled, denouuced the proceedings of the convention in the strongest 
terms, thus giving official evidence of the existence and proceedings of 
the Convention. In that proclamation he bitterly denounced some 
letters written, by the members from North Carolina in the National 
Congress, which endorsed these proceedings and recommended them to 
all patriotic Citizens. The names of those members were Hooper, 
Hughes and Caswell. 2 Their letters were published in the Cape Fear 
Mercury of the 14th July 1775. This paper with other documents 
Gov. Martin took, with him to England. As Mr Bancroft has been 
successful in getting access to the American archives in England, it 
might be very desirable to have him avail himself of the indulgence, to 
obtain the Cape Fear Mercury, or authenticated copies of such portions 
as have a bearing upon our National History, as another Ministry might 

1 " The Declaration of Independence by the Citizens of Mecklenburg County. 
. . . Published by the Governor," Raleigh, 1831. 

2 William Hooper, Joseph Hewes and Richard Caswell, all members of the 
Continental Congress from North Carolina. 


not afford an opportunity. You are probably aware that the Hon John 
Forsythe of Georgia took a warm interest in the matter, and sought ac- 
cess to British Archives of American History, and that his efforts were 

Col. Thos. and Ezekiel Polk, one or both, were members of the Con- 
gress which framed the test oath of Loyalty. 

William H. Winder to Polk. 

11 Jany, 1849. 

Sir, — You were kind enough to do me the honor to say that when 
you should receive from Mr. Bancroft a copy of the original account of 
the proceedings of the Mecklenburg Convention, you would allow me to 
see them, and to avail myself of them to make a complete history of that 
important and contested event, so interesting to our (the Polk) family, 
several members of which were among the earliest movers and most ac- 
tive participants in that early patriotic movement. So long a time has 
elapsed since Mr Bancroft promised to forward these documents, that I 
fear important national matters of more pressing moment, may have 
caused this matter wholly to escape his recollection. The short period 
which will intervene between this and your retirement to that private 
peace which you so covet, that I fear the matter may be wholly unat- 
tended to. These together with the fact that Mr Forsythe had in vain 
sought access to the American Archives in England have induced me to 
bring this subject again to your mind. 

I pray you Sir pardon me for the liberty I am taking, and to which 
I am emboldened by a desire to place incontrovertibly upon all future 
historic annals, the true history of a most interesting event, in which the 
honor and distinction of several members of our family will be made 
clearly to appear. 

While I am trespassing upon the courtesy which heretofore has re- 
ceived favorably similar suggestions, I will go so far as to request that 
if you should have occasion to remind Mr Bancroft of your wishes on 
this subject, that you would include in your instructions, such numbers 
of the Cape Fear Recorder ^as he can procure, containing an account of 
the Convention, the letters of the Delegates to the National Congress, 
and particularly the number containing the proclamation of the Gov- 
ernor of North Carolina. All of these will be found among the ar- 
chives in London, and are very important in making a full and complete 
history, such as I purpose to write on receiving the documents and 
papers referred to above. 

In my last respects to you I gave some details of matters connected 
with not only the Mecklenburg Convention, but the particular informa- 
tion you sought as to how I ascertained that Ezekiel Polk was Capt. 
of the Whig Rangers. . . . 

1 Probably an error for " Mercury." 


Polk to Bancroft. 

Private and unofficial. Washington City, Sept. 9th, 1848. 

DEAR Sir, — I invite your attention to two publications, which 
made their appearance in the New York Evening Post of the 28th of July, 
and were re-published iu the National Intelligencer of Washington on the 
1 st of August last, the one bearing the signature of Benjamin Tappan, 
and the other that of Francis P. Blair. A printed copy of these pub- 
lications, cut from the National Intelligencer, is herewith enclosed. 

A few days after my arrival in Washington in February, 1845, I 
invited you to accept a place in my Cabinet. After you had intimated 
a willingness to accept the position tendered to you, I was upon terms 
of confidential and unreserved intercourse with you. That you might 
be fully informed in advance, of my views and the principles on which 
my administration would be conducted, I read to you the Inaugural 
Address which I had prepared in Tennessee, and which I afterwards 
delivered to my fellow-citizens on the 4 th of March, 1845, 1 and conferred 
freely with you in relation to public affairs. No opinions which I 
entertained upon any public subject, about which we may have con- 
versed were with-held from you. As it may become proper that I 
should at some future day, notice the publications of Messrs. Tappan 8? 
Blair, I desire that you will furnish me with a statement, of any opin- 
ions, views or acts of mine, relating to the subject of the annexation of 
Texas to the United States, both before and after my Inauguration as 
President, which may have come to your knowledge. 

I have not the slightest recollection of ever having held a conversa- 
tion with either Mr. Tappan or Mr. Blair on the subject of the annex- 
ation of Texas. If I did, it is certain that I was wholly misunderstood. 
When I arrived in Washington on the 13 th of February, 1845, the sub- 
ject of the annexation of Texas was pending before Congress. That 
was one of the main issues, upon which I had been elected President of 
the United States. I was anxious that Congress should at its then Ses- 
sion, pass some measure for annexation, if Texas would consent. I be- 
lieved that unless some measure with that object, was passed at that Ses- 
sion, there was danger that the "golden moment," for securing Texas 
as a part of our Union, might pass, and that fine territory be lost forever. 

My opinions on the subject were freely and publickly expressed in 
the Hotel where I was, to all who chose to converse with me on the 
subject. I was, as you know, almost constantly surrounded with com- 
pany from the day of my arrival iu Washington until the day of my 
Inauguration. I had no opportunity to examine, and did not examine 
the particular form of the different propositions which were before 
Congress. I learned generally in conversations with several persons, 

1 " Messages and Papers of the Presidents," iv. 373. 


and I think it likely among others with yourself, that there was some 
difficulty in reconciling the two Houses of Congress, or in procuring their 
concurrence upon any one proposition, though there was believed to be 
a majority of each House in favour of the measure in some form.. I 
remember that I entertained and expressed the opinion and the hope, 
that if the measure could not pass in one form, it was better to pass it 
in any form, than not to pass it at all. I may have said in conversa- 
tion and probably did, for such was my opinion, that if the form of 
annexation by negotiation, through the agency of commissioners, which 
as I was informed had been suggested, should be the one adopted by 
Congress, or if the measure should pass in the alternative, and that form 
should be selected by the President, that then the ablest men in the 
country should be appointed the Commissioners. But that I ever 
decided in advance, and before I had examined and compared the differ- 
ent propositions which were spoken of, in favour of the form by nego- 
tiation, in preference to that of the House, or authorized such a purpose 
to be communicated to Senators, is wholly inconceivable under the cir- 
cumstances which existed. If I was so understood by any one with 
whom I may have conversed, I was misunderstood. This however is 
stated in the publications of Messrs. Tappan & Blair. For what pur- 
pose and with what object it is stated at this late day (after the lapse of 
nearly three and an half years,) I leave to others to determine. I know 
how difficult it is to prove a negative. Fortunately circumstances exist 
in this case, which go far to establish the error of their statements. 
One of these circumstances is this. The Resolutions for the Annexa- 
tion of Texas, were approved by Mr. Tyler on the 1 st of March, 1845. 
On that or the next day Mr. Calhoun, then Secretary of State, called 
and conversed with me in relation to the election proper to be made, as 
between the alternative propositions embraced in the Resolutions, 
informing me that Mr. Tyler was deliberating on the subject. I have 
since learned that Mr. Calhoun reported to Mr. Tyler sitting in Cabinet 
Council, the result of his interview with me. It was in substance that 
I had informed him (Mr. Calhoun) that I had been so much occupied 
with Company and other engagements, that I had not even read the 
Resolutions which had passed Congress, and could therefore give no 
opinion upon the subject, and that until I had entered upon my duties 
as President, and had my own Cabinet advisers around me, I could not 
undertake to decide on the subject, and that I left it to Mr. Tyler to 
decide for himself, what action, if any, he deemed it proper to take on 
the subject. Mr. Tyler made the election of the alternative embraced 
in the House propositions, as they were called, and dispatched a special 
messenger, bearing his decision and instructions to our Charge 
d' Affaires to Texas, before he retired from office. On the 6 th of March, 
Gent Almonte the Mexican Minister made his communication, de- 


manding his passports. 1 It was not until the 10 th of March that the 
subject was considered and finally decided on by me in my Cabinet. 
When the subject was considered, I had before me the Resolutions of 
Congress, the Election of alternatives which had been made by Mr. 
Tyler and his instructions given to our Minister. The whole subject 
was fully examined and carefully considered in all its bearings. The 
confirmation of your nomination as Secretary of the Navy, was delayed 
for some days by the Senate, but in anticipation of it I had invited you 
to attend the Cabinet meetings, and my impression is, that you were 
present on the occasion referred to. Your memory will doubtless 
enable you to determine how this was. The Cabinet were unanimously 
of opinion that Mr. Tyler's election of alternatives should not be re- 
versed, but should be confirmed. It was so confirmed and with my full 
assent and approval, and accordingly Mr. Buchanan addressed a de- 
spatch to that effect to our Charge d'Aflfaires to Texas. 2 During the 
whole consideration of the subject, not an intimation was given by me 
of a preference for the alternative form of annexation by negotiation, or 
that I was embarrassed by any such pledge as that now attributed to me 
by Messrs. Tappan and Blair. It is impossible that all this could have 
occurred, if I had understood myself as having given any such pledge. 

Another circumstance which goes far to negative the allegation is 
this. The Senate continued in Executive Session until the 19th or 
20th of March, when they adjourned. If I had decided to elect the 
alternative of appointing Commissioners to negotiate, it would have 
been necessary to nominate these commissioners to the Senate for the 
confirmation of that body, before its adjournment. No such nomina- 
tion was made and therefore every Senator and the public, must have 
known that the alternative of negotiation by the appointment of Com- 
missioners had not been adopted, and yet there was no complaint from 
any Senator or from any other quarter, that I had acted in bad faith or 
violated any pledge. 

Another circumstance is this : Texas accepted the overture which 
was made to her, and in my annual Message of December, 1845, 8 I 
communicated to Congress all that had been done by Mr. Tyler and 
myself, and accompanied my Message with all the correspondence on 
the subject, which was published. Messrs. Tappan and Blair were 
then silent. Texas was shortly afterwards admitted into the Union as 
a State. The Senators referred to by Messrs. Tappan fy Blair made 
no charge or allegation that they had been deceived by pledges, as to 
the form of effecting her annexation which would be adopted. They 
made no opposition to her admission as a State, and they continued long 

1 Juan N. Almonte. 

2 Polk probably has in mind the instructions to Donelson. 
8 " Messages and Papers of the Presidents," iv. 385. 


after that time to support my administration, including the declaration 
and prosecution of the War with Mexico. 

I might add other facts and cogent circumstances, but it is unneces- 
sary, and I wiil not weary you, by a recital of them. You had my full 
confidence at the time referred to, and I would have been as likely to 
converse with you without the least reserve, as with any other person. 
Neither Messrs. Tappan or Blair possessed my confidence. It may 
become necessary for me to vindicate myself before the public. At all 
events I desire to be prepared to do so. Were this the only object 
I do not know that I should trouble you. But a higher motive impels 
me to vindicate my official course in regard to the annexation of Texas. 
That was an event of the highest National importance conceived and 
consummated, with pure and patriotic motives, and it is due to the 
truth of history, that the action, and the motive of action of the public 
functionaries intrusted with its management should be fully known. 
With this view I address you this letter. I wish in your answer that 
you should be full, stating all you may remember of my views, or of any 
conversations you may have held with me on the subject of the annexa- 
tion of Texas. To protect myself from misconception or misrepresen- 
tation and to vindicate the truth of history is all that I desire. I will 
request like statements from the other members of the Cabinet, of what 
they know or remember. I will not use them before the excitement 
of the pending Presidential election has passed, and not then unless, it 
shall appear to be proper and necessary. 

I will add that I was much surprised on seeing the publications of 
Messrs. Tappan and Blair. I had not the slightest intimation of an 
intention to make them, until they appeared in the New York Evening 
Post. I was the more surprised from the fact, that Mr. Blair had 
previously expressed his approbation of all the leading measures of my 
administration, which of course embraced the first, and among the 
most important of these measures, the annexation of Texas, which had 
been consummated by the policy which I had pursued. He once ex- 
pressed this approbation to me, in strong terms, in your presence. As 
Mr. Blair had been superceded by Mr. Ritchie, in conducting the 
leading Democratic paper at Washington, and as I had reason to 
believe he had been dissatisfied at this circumstance, I regarded the 
voluntary opinion which he expressed, as magnanimous, and I was 
gratified to have it. It made so deep an impression on my mind, that 
on the same evening, I made a note of it. It may not have made so 
deep an impression on you, and you may not remember it. I will 
recal to your recollection the occasion on which it was made. On the 
afternoon of the 15th of August, 1846, I took a ride with you in your 
carriage. We drove to Mr. Blair's house, some five or six miles in 
the country. We found him alone, his family being absent from 



home. He received us very cordially and was very friendly. During 
(mi- Btay of an hour he took occasion to remark to me, that I had been 
universally successful in my administration, and that he approved all 
my leading measures. In speaking of the tariff he entirely approved 
the act which had recently passed, and said he had been more anxious 
for its passage than some of the members of Congress who had voted 
for it. lie said he had argued with Senator Haywood 1 and had en- 
deavoured to convince him that he ought to vote for it, and that he had 
dissuaded him from resigning his seat in the Senate. He made other 
remarks which are not material. You will of course remember our 
ride to his house. If you remember his expression of approbation of 
the measures of my administration, and you see no objection to it, 
I desire that you will state your recollection of it, in your answer 
to this letter. 

I have written so long a letter that I will not trouble you with much 
that I might say in relation to public affairs, but will postpone this to 
some future period. 

I have received your letter in answer to mine enclosing to you a 
communication from Gov. Swain President of the University of N. 
Carolina, and I am glad that you have been able to find in the Brittish 
archives, some evidence confirmatory of the fact of the Mecklenburg 
Declaration of Independence in May, 1775. I will write you on this 
subject soon. I am very faithfully, Your friend & obd. Servt. 

James K. Polk. 

P. S. I might have said much more than I have done, upon the 
subject of Texas annexation, and the reasons which influenced my 
action upon it. I will only make one additional remark. I think the 
wisdom of the choice of alternatives which was made, must long since 
have been manifest to the whole world. If the other alternative had 
been chosen, I think there is abundant evidence to prove that Texas 
would probably have been lost to the Union. If negotiations had been 
opened by Commissioners, much delay would necessarily have taken 
place, giving ample opportunity to Brittish and French intrigue to have 
seriously embarrassed, if not defeated annexation. It was not until 
after I had entered upon my duties as President, that I had an oppor- 
tunity deliberately to consider of the two propositions and to decide 
between them. When I decided, I had Mr. Tyler's instructions and 
Mr. Almonte's letter before me, and the dangers of delay by protracted 
negotiations, had that mode been selected, were apparent. I acted 
upon my own best judgment, and in conformity with the unanimous 
advice of my Cabinet, and the result has proved that I was right. 
Yrs. &c. J. K. P. 

1 William Henry Haywood, of North Carolina. 



Tappan to Evening Post. 

Steubenville, July 21, 1848. 
To the Editor of the Evening Post: 

Dear Sir, — Since the admission of Texas into the Union was 
consummated, I have thought, with you, that my vote on that occasion 
required explanation. I was in favor of receiving that State into the 
Union as soon as it could be done on fair and just terms, and with the 
consent of Mexico ; and I believed, from all I could learn, that this 
might be accomplished at less expense than it would cost to wage a war 
of one year's duration for obtaining it. So disposed, I had not only 
voted against Mr. Tyler's treaty of annexation, because it was excep- 
tionable in its terms, but, in violation of a rule of the Senate, from an 
imperative sense of public duty, had published it, and the correspond- 
ence with which it was accompanied, because it appeared to me that 
the whole affair afforded evidence of a daring conspiracy to divide the 
Union, by arraying the free and slave States against each other ; evi- 
dence which considerations 'entirely paramount to all Senatorial for- 
mulas required to be immediately divulged. 1 

The inquiry is a very natural one — -how men who desired the 
admission of Texas and voted against the treaty of annexation, could 
afterwards vote for the resolution brought into the House of Repre- 
sentatives by Mr. Milton Brown, 2 which was more exceptionable in its 
terms than the treaty. Now that the war with Mexico is ended, and 
the public interest cannot be injured by answering this inquiry, I give 
you the following statement, premising that the public history of this 
transaction is in the Congressional Globe, vol. 14, page 358 to 363, 
and the Congressional Globe of February 24th, 1847. 3 

When the "joint resolution declaring the terms on which Congress 
will admit Texas into the Union as a State," was before the Senate, it 
was soon found that a number of the Democratic members who were 
favorable to the admission of Texas would vote against that resolution. 
I was one of them. In this stage of the matter it was proposed that, 
instead of rejecting the House resolution, we should amend it by adding, 
as an alternative proposition, the substance of Mr. Benton/ s bill to obtain 
Texas by negotiation. I had strong objections to this plan, for I did 
not see the necessity or propriety of passing the House resolution either 
with or without the proposed amendments, but it was urged that the 

1 Tappan apologized to the Senate, and was severely censured. — "Senate 
Executive Journals," vi. 268. 

2 Representative from Tennessee. 

3 The first reference is to the discussion in the Senate on February 27. 1845, 
both afternoon and evening, in which was adopted the joint resolution determin- 
ing the terms on which Congress would admit Texas into the Union as a State. 
The second reference is to speeches made by Senators Benton and Calhoun. 


session'was so near its close that the measure would be defeated if we 
substituted Mr. Benton's plan for the other, whereas if we made it an 
additional article it would readily pass the House in that form. This 
reasoning did not satisfy me. but finding that my friends were all satis- 
lied with such proposed arrangement, I acceded to it — provided that 
I could have satisfactory assurance that the plan proposed in such 
amendment would be the only one used and submitted to Texas. 

Mr. Polk was in the city ; it was understood that he was very anxious 
that Congress should act on the subject before he came into office ; it was 
also understood that the proposition to amend the House resolution origi- 
nated with Mr. Polk. It had been suggested that, if we did so amend 
the resolution, Mr. Calhoun would send off the House resolution to 
Texas, and so endeavor to forestal the action of Mr. Polk ; but Mr. 
McDuffie, 1 his friend, having met this suggestion by the declaration 
that he would not have the " audacity " to do such a thing, it was no 
more thought of. One difficulty remained, and that was the danger of 
putting it into the power of Mr. Polk to submit the House resolution 
to Texas. We understood, indeed, that he intended to submit the 
Senate proposition to that Government; but, without being satisfied 
that he would do this, I would not vote for the resolution, and it was 
well ascertained that, without my vote, it could not pass. Mr. Hay- 
wood, who had voted with me, and was opposed to the House resolu- 
tion, undertook to converse with Mr. Polk on the subject, and did so. 
He afterwards told me that he was authorized by Mr. Polk to say to 
myself and other Senators that, if we could pass the resolution with the 
amendment proposed to be made, he would not use the House resolution, 
but would submit the Senate amendment as the sole proposition to Texas. 
Upon this assurance I voted for the amendment moved by Mr. Walker, 2 
containing the substance of Mr. Benton's bill, and voted for the resolu- 
tion as it now stands on the statute book. 

It is matter of history that Mr. Calhoun did have the " audacity " to 
send off a special messenger with the House resolution to Texas on the 
3d of March, a few minutes before he went out of office ; and that 
Mr. Polk adopted and confirmed this act of Mr. Calhoun's, so admitting 
Texas into the Union, and placing the United States in a state of war 
with Mexico. 

Knowing that my esteemed friend, F. P. Blair, had taken a deep 
interest in this subject while it was before Congress, I addressed a note 
to him, requesting a statement of his recollections of the way the Texas 
question was got through the Senate. The following is his answer. 
I am, sir, yours. 

Benjamin Tappan. 

1 George McDuffie, of South Carolina. 

2 Robert J. Walker, of Mississippi. 


Blair to Tappan. 

Silver Spring, July 7, 1848. 

Dear Sir, — Your letter of the 1st instant asks me to state what I 
know " as to the way the Texas question was got through the Senate." 
I comply, and will not incumber the narrative with immaterial details. 

When the resolution passed by the House of Representatives for the 
annexation of Texas reached the Senate, it was ascertained that it 
would fail in that body. Benton, Bagby, Dix, 1 Haywood, and, as I 
understood, you also, were absolute in opposition to this naked propo- 
sition of annexation, which necessarily brought with if the war in 
which Texas was engaged with Mexico. All had determined to ad- 
here to the bill submitted by Col. Benton, for the appointment of a 
commission to arrange the terms of annexation with Texas, and to 
make the attempt to render its accession to our Union as palatable as 
possible to Mexico before its consummation. It was hoped that this 
point might be effected by giving (as has been done in the late treaty 
of peace) a pecuniary consideration, fully equivalent in value for the 
territory desired by the United States, and to which Texas could justly 
assert any title. The Senate had been polled, and it was ascertained 
that any two of the Democratic Senators who were opposed to Brown's 
resolution, which had passed the House, could defeat it — the whole 
Whig party preferring annexation by negotiation, upon Col. Benton's 
plan, to that of Brown. 

While the question was thus pending, I met Mr. Brown, (late Gov- 
ernor of Tennessee, then a member of the House,) who suggested that 
the resolution of the House and the bill of Colonel Benton, preferred 
by the Senate, might be blended, making the latter an alternative, and 
leaving the President elect (who alone would have time to consum- 
mate the measure) to act under one or the other, at his discretion. I 
told Mr. Brown that I did not believe that the Democratic Senators 
opposed to the resolution of the House, and who had its fate in their 
hands, would consent to this arrangement, unless they were satisfied 
in advance by Mr. Polk that the commission and negotiation con- 
templated in Col. Benton's plan would be tried, before that of direct 
legislative annexation was resorted to. He desired me to see Colonel 
Benton and the friends of his proposition, submit the suggestions 
he had made, and then confer with Mr. Polk, to know whether he 
would meet their views. I complied ; and after several interviews 
with Messrs. Haywood, Dix, Benton, and others, (Mr. Allen,' 2 of Ohio, 
using his influence in the same direction,) finding that the two plans 
could be coupled and carried, if it were understood that the pacific 

1 Arthur P. Bagby, of Virginia, and John A. Dix, of New York. 

2 William Allen. 


project was first to be tried, I consulted the President elect on the 

In the conference I had with him, he gave me full assurance thai he 
would appoint a commission, as contemplated in the bill prepared by Col. 
Benton, if passed in conjunction with the House resolution as an alter- 
not ire. In the course of my conversation with Mr. Polk, I told him 
that the friends of this plan were solicitous that the commission should 
be filled by distinguished men of both parties, and that Col. Benton 
had mentioned to me the names of Crittenden and Wright 1 as of the 
class from which it should be formed. Mr. Polk responded, by declaring, 
wit It an emphasis, " that the first men of the country should fill the com- 
mission." I communicated the result of this interview to Messrs. Benton, 
Dix, Haywood, &c. The two last met, on appointment, to adapt the 
phraseology of Benton's bill, to suit as an alternative for the resolution 
of the House, and it was passed, after a very general understanding of 
the course which the measure was to take. 

Both Messrs. Dix and Haywood told me they had interviews with Mr. 
Polk on the subject of the communication I have reported to them from him, 
and they were confirmed by his immediate assurance in pursuing the 
course which they had resolved on in consequence of my representation of 
his purpose in regard to the point on which their action depended. After 
the law was passed, and Mr. Polk inaugurated, he applied to Gen. 
Dix (as I am informed by the latter) to urge the Senate to act upon 
one of the suspended Cabinet appointments, saying that he wished his 
Administration organized immediately, as he intended the instant recall 
of the messenger understood to have been dispatched by Mr. Tyler, and to 
revoke his orders given in the last moments of his power, to thwart the 
design of Congress in affording him {Mr. Polk) the means of institut- 
ing a negotiation with a view of bringing Texas peaceably into the 
Union. Your friend. 

F. P. Blair. 

Bancroft to Polk. 

London, 13 October, 1848. 

My dear Sir, — I have received your letter of the 9th of Septem- 
ber, 1848, and have read Mr. Tappan's printed letter to the Editor of 
the Evening Post of the 21st. of July last and that of Mr. Blair to Mr. 
Tappan of the 7th of July. 

On your arrival at Washington in February, 1845, I joined you 
there at your request, took lodgings in the same hotel, and was very 
often with you. The subject which mainly engrossed the attention of 
Congress was the annexation of Texas. That measure was one of the 

1 John J. Crittenden, of Kentucky, and Silas Wright, of New York. 


issues, on which the people had decided by your election ; you expressed 
yourself to me anxious that the declared wishes of the Democratic party 
should have effect. A division of opinion on the proper form of an- 
nexation prevailed in the Senate. You were indifferent as to the form, 
provided the substance was secured. You advised conciliation and 
union, the adoption of a form of resolution which would produce har- 
mony and successful action, and you gave as your motive for this ad- 
vice, your deep interest in the passage of the measure itself. You 
looked at the possible rejection of the measure, as a blow in advance at 
your administration. You seemed to me indifferent whether the house 
resolution prevailed or a substitute. I never heard you express an 
opinion about the details, or form of the measure : and when an option 
of forms was proposed and accepted by the Senate, you applauded the 
spirit of harmony which it manifested, but took care never to hazard 
the success of the measure itself by siding with either of the parties on 
questions of form. I remained to the last ignorant as to which of the 
two forms you would adopt; and had no reason to suppose that either 
was dissatisfactory. I never myself heard you discuss the relative merits 
of the two forms ; still less did I ever hear you express a preference ; 
nor did I hear in conversation with others, that you had done so. 

My nomination as one of your cabinet was not confirmed till the 
tenth of March. As soon as I heard of this, but not before, I repaired 
to your mansion, and was shown into the room where the cabinet had 
been deliberating. The election of the first and second sections of the 
Joint resolution had been already approved, and Mr. Buchanan was on 
the point of going away in order to forward a despatch to Mr. Donel- 
son. 1 Conversation ensued, and I was informed, that the decision 
which had been made before I was a member of the cabinet, had been 
the result of the unanimous advice of the other five members. The 
reasons which were given for their preference were : That Mr. Tyler 
and Mr. Calhoun had already made an election, which, it was found, 
could not be disturbed without some confusion, that Mr. Donelson 2 was 
a remarkably prudent man, who might be relied upon under Mr. Bu- 
chanan's instructions to conduct his part in the affair quietly and with- 
out irritating; that the first and second sections of the Joint Resolution 
were more favorable to peace with Mexico, as they expressly reserved 
to the general government full power to negotiate a boundary with 
Mexico : that Almonte had already by demanding his passports on the 
mere passage of the resolution, rendered prompt action on our part 
imperative : that to delay action by the tedious process of a commission 
was but opening the way to Mexico to inflame the public mind : that 

1 This despatch, dated March 10, 1845, is in " Works of James Buchanan," 
vi. 120. 

2 Andrew Jackson Donelson. 


the delay would be almost an invitation to England and France to em- 
ploy commissioners on their part to prevent the consummation of annex- 
ation : and that the appointment of commissioners on our side to treat 
with Texas on the terms of annexation would be almost a temptation 
to Texas to make exorbitant and unreasonable demands, which the 
administration, pledged as it was to the measure of annexation, would 
have found it most difficult to resist. 

I never heard from any one a hint, that the consultation of the Cab- 
inet or your own decision, was in any [way] embarrassed by any previous 
declaration as to the option which you would make. 

On the contrary, I always understood that the united Democratic 
party in the Senate intended and desired to leave your judgment free; 
and when on the tenth of March, 1845, Mr. Berrien attempted to draw 
from the Senate an expression of opinion in favor of the third section 
of the resolution, the Democratic Senators on the eleventh of March 
signified their unwillingness to embarrass you by postponing Mr. Ber- 
rien's motion indefinitely. 

Your approval of the election which Mr. Tyler had made, was imme- 
diately known. It did not change Mr. Blair's willingness to be the con- 
fidential editor and organ of the administration. He remained desirous 
of that post. 

I remember well our summer's drive, a year later, to Mr. Blair's 
house at Silver Spring. His reception was most cordial, as I had ex- 
pected. He walked with us over the grounds nearest the house, and 
showed us his various improvements. Of your administration he ex- 
pressed himself in terms, such as I had repeatedly heard from him, and 
such as were most gratifying to me to hear in your presence. He con- 
gratulated you on your good fortune in carrying out your measures, of 
which he expressed his approbation without qualification and without 
reserve. I never heard any man give a tribute to your administration 
more comprehensive or that seemed more from the heart. 

I. will add that in all the stormy days which I witnessed in Washing- 
ton, and among all the complaints which always will follow the exercise 
of power, I never heard of this complaint of Mr. Tappan, nor any fault 
found with your course on the annexation of Texas, except by those who 
did not want it annexed at all. I remain, my dear sir, very faithfully 

Bancroft to Polk. 

Private. London, 13 October, 1848. 

My dear Sir, — I send you to-day my reminiscences on the annexa- 
tion of Texas, as far as your opinions were concerned. 

I add two considerations. Tappan says your election of the House 
resolution placed " the United States in a state of war with Mexico." 
The man is beside himself. The Senate's section was quite as unmind- 


ful of Mexico, and even more so. This shows how Tappan's memory 
and judgment are both at fault. 

Next. For Senators to have voted a compromise on which you were 
to be arbiter, and to have solicited your decision in advance, would have 
been dishonest. The compromise implied freedom of election on your 
part. It would have been a fraud on the majority of the Senate, to have 
passed a resolution with an alternative, when there was to be no alter- 
native at all. Mr. Tappan's charge lies heaviest on himself. I do not 
think the subject merits much of your attention. The calumny is foolish. 
In substance the two modes proposed are identical. Each annexes Texas, 
and with or without the leave of Mexico. 

I most ardently hope for your sake, for the sake of the country, for 
the sake of Europe, for the sake of the world, that Cass may be elected. 
The whole conservative force of England prays for his defeat. His 
success will be your own triumph. I wish I could witness it. 

Pray find time to write me, but above all, in your last message, do 
not fail to speak in words that will make Europe leap. Speak specially 
in favor of the federative principle. In Austria a plan to have the Ban 
of Croatia come and take Vienna, has led to a new and a more deter- 
mined insurrection. 1 The bad faith of kings, at a time, when if they 
were honest, they could do great good, leads to convulsions, and will 
lead alas ! through bloody scenes to republican forms of government. 
If France would but learn the benefit of States Rights, of provincial 
liberties, she would redeem Europe. 

Best regards to Mrs. Polk. Shall you come to Europe after the close 
of your wearisome but most glorious struggle ? Ever most truly yours. 

Perhaps it might be well to read to the Cabinet my narrative of their 
statement of their reasons of their advice. I think Marcy, Buchanan, 
Mason and Walker must all remember it. As to Johnson 2 I do not so 
distinctly remember about him on that day, but think he was with you. 

1 The Viceroy of Croatia was known as Ban or Fan, the Slavonic word for 
Lord. The Ban at this time was Baron Joseph Jellachich, who had first heen ap- 
pointed to the ofiice by the Emperor of Austria, but in May, 1848, had refused to 
obey a summons to come to Vienna, and had been confirmed as Ban by a Slavonic 
Diet at Agram. For this he was declared a rebel, but made his peace with the 
Emperor, fearing Hungarian rule more than that of Austria. Kossuth was the 
Hungarian Minister, and under him the Magyars were intent upon punishing 
the Croats whom they regarded as rebels against Hungary. In this contest Jella- 
chich received secret aid and encouragement from Austria, and this is the breach of 
good faith to which Bancroft refers. October 3, the Emperor placed Jellachich in 
command of the troops intended to restore order in Hungary, but an insurrection 
arose in Vienna itself, where the Hungarians had many sympathizers, and was 
suppressed by a combined movement of Austrians under Prince Windischgratz 
and Jellachich. The Emperor Ferdinand resigned the throne in favor of his 
nephew Francis Joseph. Hungary was invaded, and Kossuth became a fugitive. 

2 Cave Johnson, postmaster general in Polk's cabinet. 



Mr. Norckoss communicated from his own collection of 
autographs two letters of Noah Webster, to which have 
been added such other letters as are in the Society's col- 
lection. Except where noted, they are addressed to Timothy 

Pickering to Webster. 

Philadelphia, October 19, 1785. 

Sir, — Some time since I met with the two first parts of your gram- 
matical institute of the English language ; and was so well pleased 
with the plan and execution, that I wished to have them introduced 
universally into the schools in America. Being a subscriber to the 
funds for supporting the Episcopal Academy lately established here, I 
took the liberty to recommend your institute ; but one of the trustees 
informed me they were fearful of injuring the school if they should 
introduce a spelling book with which the people were totally unac- 
quainted. No one, I believe, took the pains carefully to examine your 
institute. Had the trustees been convinced (as I am) of its superiour 
excellency to any other used in America, I think for the honour and 
interest of the acadamy they must have adopted it. 

1 was pleased to see the spelling book and grammar printed in sepa- 
rate volumes. The reason you give for it is a good one : but the same 
reason induces me to propose your making a division of the spelling- 
book. The master of one of my children was so obliging as to let him 
use your spelling book : but before he had learnt his letters aud a dozen 
of the tables the book was worn out. 'T is true he was a careless boy : 
but there are many such boys. I therefore earnestly wish you to think 
of such a division. The key for pronouncing the vowels, arranged in the 
clearest order, and fully explained ; the alphabet, the double letters, 
and about half a dozen tables of words most proper for children to begin 
with, perhaps would be enough for their primer. These would be 
comprehended in a few leaves : but the leaves should be of thick, strong 
paper, and of a tolerable fineness, to take a fair impression from a large 
and good type. That called [blank] appears to me most suitable. 
For the letters ought to be perfectly fair and acurate to enable a child 
to distinguish them. The utility of such a primer will be obvious : 
but I have this further view in requesting you to undertake it. In the 
first place the pronunciation and spelling will be formed on true prin- 
ciples. In the next, as nothing of the kind is extant, there will be no 
Dilworth, 1 or any other imperfect spelling book to interfere with it ; 
and being comprized in a few leaves, its cheapness will recommend it to 
parents. Then, your principles and plan being once adopted in the 

1 Thomas Dilworth. 

1909.] LETTERS OP NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 123 

primer, I think the introduction of your whole institute will follow of 

In the preface to the 2d Edition of your spelling book, you mention 
Perry's dictionary 1 and Sheridan's rhetorical grammar 2 as books which 
had enabled you to correct several errors in the first edition. The 
slight examination I have made shews that their modes of pronunci- 
ation in many words materially differ from each other, and both from 
the practice in America, especially in New England. Sheridan's 
Thoozdy, Virtshoo &c. you will hear in Maryland and other Southern 
States ; and instances of the same pronunciation are not uncommon in 
this City. Here also may be heard (hurd I should say) Perry's weel, 
weat, wat, wen, &c. (for wheel, wheat, what, when, &c) both which 
modes I exceedingly dislike. The former, I suspect, may have 
originated in the sound given to the letter u, 3 which, in learning the 
alphabet, we are taught to sound eyoo : then joining it to t, it becomes 
teyoo ; and from virteyoo, teyoozdy, &c. pronounced rapidly, come 
virtchoo, tchoozdy, &c. Some gentlemen here sound dew as if it were 
written deyoo. There are many words in which that sound is univer- 
sally given to u : but they do not appear to be clearly pointed out. In 
your first table, what sound would you direct a scholar to give to du, 
nu, ru, tu, wu ? Some consonants easily unite with u in the sound eyoo, 
but others not without much difficulty. Being a perfect stranger to 
you, Sir, you may think I have used much freedom in thus addressing 
you : yet the nature and design of this letter will I hope be a sufficient 
apology. I knew not that you was at Baltimore until my nephew, Mr. 
Gardner, lately mentioned his having been there in your company. If 
business should lead you to Philadelphia I shall be happy to see you. 
Mr. Samuel Blanchard at Baltimore will hand you this letter, and make 
me known to you. I am, Sir, etc. 4 

Timothy Pickering. 

Sir, — I have just had the satisfaction of receiving your favour of 
the 19th Current : and acknowledge myself honoured by your atten- 
tion to my publications. I have ever been a little surprised that the 
Institute 5 found little or no sale in Philadelphia, the first City in 

1 William Perry, who prepared a " Royal Standard English Dictionary " 

2 The Rhetorical Grammar was prefixed to his Dictionary (see p. 124, post), 
but was separately printed in Philadelphia in 1783. It retained some of its 
popularity, as a third edition appeared in 1789. 

3 Note by the writer : " I do not know but you have some where made a 
remark to this effect." 

4 Pickering Papers, v. 375a. 

5 The Spelling Book and Grammar, which formed the first and second parts 
of the " Grammatical Institute." 


America ; when it is generally received in the Northern States, in New 
York and in Charleston, S. Carolina. I must impute it to inattention. 
Your idea of dividing the first part, strikes me favourably and it is 
probable will have its effect. The edition you have seen is the second ; 
the third and the fourth are printed in larger types, — Pica, which is 
probably the type you left a blank for in yours. Your remarks on 
Mr. Sheridan's Dictionary * are just and I shall yet prove a troublesome 
critic to the Author. No person has ever opposed the corruptions of 
the English Theatre ; and it is impossible to determine what may be 
the effect of candid criticisms, founded on the principles of pronuncia- 
tion and the real harmony and elegance of the language. So much is 
certain, — -I have read a short course of lectures in this town, which I 
have just finished. My criticisms have the approbation of the best 
judges in this town, who attended the Lectures and who advise me to 
proceed in my plans. My remarks extend to Bishop Lowth 2 and to 
other Grammarians as well as to Mr. Sheridan. Their works appear 
to me capable of improvement and in many instances of great correc- 
tions. My criticisms are new and no person here is capable of dis- 
proving my remarks. I have begun a reformation in the Language 
and my plan is yet but in embryo. 3 

I have some business in Richmond, Virginia, where I shall travel 
in a few days ; on my return, I shall make some stay in Philadelphia. 
I hope to be there by the first of December, and probably shall read 
my Lectures in that city. As I am the first American, who has 
entered on such important plans and a youth, as well as a Yankee, 
I shall need the countenance of Gentlemen of your established Char- 
acter. In order to prepare the minds of people for such an event, 
I could wish that a paragraph may be inserted in a Philadelphia paper, 
informing that I may be expected to read a course of Lectures on the 
English Language, sometime this winter. I shall then have an oppor- 
tunity of satisfying your enquiries in a more particular manner. I 
have the honour to be with the highest respect, etc. 4 

Baltimore, October 28th, 1786. 

Sir, — Before I went into Virginia, I had the honour of receiving a 
Letter from you, which I could answer in a few words only. I have 

1 Thomas Sheridan's " Complete Dictionary of the English Language," Lon- 
don, 1780. 

' 2 Kobert Lowth, whose " Short Introduction to English Grammar " was 
issued in England in 1762. 

3 This took the form of a reformed spelling, on which he corresponded with 
Benjamin Franklin, and in 1790 issued a volume using his new methods, which 
did not find acceptance. This volume is entitled " A Collection of Essays and 
Fugitiv Writings," Boston, 1790. See p. 129, post. 

4 Pickering Tapers, xviii. 291. 

1909.] LETTERS OE NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1810. 125 

now finished my business in these States, having secured the copy right 
of my works and introduced them into the schools. I have also read 
Lectures in the Principal Towns in Virginia and Maryland, and tho' I 
most pointedly oppose Dr. Sheridan and Bishop Lowth in some par- 
ticulars, I find no opposition. I convince the judgment, tho' I may 
not reform the practice. My success has encouraged me to proceed, 
and I shall risque my reputation in Philadelphia, New York, and 
Boston, upon the merits and strength of my criticisms. I shall make 
one General effort to deliver literature and my countrymen from the 
errors that fashion and ignorance are palming upon Englishmen. The 
question will then be, whether the Americans will give their opinions 
and principles as well as their purses to foreigners, and be the dupes of 
a strolling party of players, who, educated in the school of corruption, 
have no profession, but to make people laugh, and who, dependent on 
opinion, for subsistence, must conform to caprice at the expense of 
every principle of propriety. I must wait on the Legislature of Dela- 
ware, and shall, I expect, be in Philadelphia by the tenth of February. 
Two circumstances will operate against me. I am not a foreigner ; 
I am a JS 7 ew Englandman. A foreigner ushered in with titles and 
letters, with half my abilities, would have the whole city in his train. 
But let my fate be what it will, I am convinced I am right, and have 
had the good fortune to convince every good judge who has heard me, 
that I proceed on true principles. They tell me that my plan will cer- 
tainly succeed. I have the honour, etc. 1 

Baltimore, January 20th, 1788. 

Sm, — The President and Officers of College in Princeton, and all 
the students express a wish to hear my Lectures; but on takeing sub- 
scriptions we find but 16 students who will attend. Two reasons may 
be assigned ; the students are reveiwing the studies of the Year, for 
examination which will begin the week after next, and they have no 
cash. Just after a vacation they would all attend. 

I shall not read Lectures on such prospects, but to day move on to 
N. York. 

Please to present my compliments and respects to Mrs. Pickering 
and Sister, Mr. Hodgdon,' 2 and believe me, etc. 

Princeton, March 24th, 1786. 

P. S. I shall be obliged, if you will send me a copy of the Primer 
as soon as finished. 3 

1 Pickering Papers, xix. 6. 

2 Samuel Hodgdon, who had been associated with Pickering in the Commis- 
sary Department in the last years of the Revolution. 

3 Pickering Papers, xix. 21. 


New York, 9th April, 1786. 

Sir, — Thursday evening I read my first Lecture. Dr. [David] 
Ramsay, chairman of Congress, Dr. [William Samuel] Johnson, etc. 
attended and have spoken so favorably of my design, that I am informed, 
many of the Delegates will attend in future. 

Mr. Nichols, a native of Connecticut, but resident in this City, an 
approved instructor of youth, wishes to know the real prospects of suc- 
ceeding in a Commercial school in Philadelphia. He wishes to know 
what men will support him in the attempt, what room can be procured, 
at what price. I can recommend the Gentleman, if you can satisfy 
him in these particulars. My Respects to your family, the mail is 
waiting. Yours, etc. 1 

Sir, — Y'ours with the Primer and Pamphlet were received yester- 
day ; for which please to accept my sincere thanks. There is a capital 
error in the end of the 5th Table. The number 8 has no place in the 
Primer. The words placed under it are besides of different sounds, and 
not one comes under figure 8. Please to erase it. In Table 9th, the 
word corollary I believe is usually accented on the 2d syllable. Jocu- 
lar?/ should be jocularly. The note at bottom might have been dis- 
pensed with, as heterodox, etc. are omitted in the Table. I have not 
examined critically for other mistakes. The work in general pleases 
me. I wish you had been particular in pointing to the words in which 
your practice differs from mine. 

With respect to the Grammars, Sir, I shall [make] many alterations 
and amendments, and I wish not to have it introduced before they are 
made. Suppose a short paragraph were inserted in the public paper, 
informing those that have called for it, that I wish to make many 
amendments before it is republished. 

I wish some of the Primers could be sent to Wilmington. I have 
many friends there and they would promote the sale. The copyright, 
if necessary, may be secured in Pennsylvania, by leaving a copy with 
the Prothonotary, Mr. Smith, and taking a certificate in my name. 

I am improving my Lectures. I have added another. I have 
regularly about the same number as attended in Philadelphia, among 
[whom] are many of the first characters in Congress and the Citizens. 
The design is well received. 

I am surprised that you never told me of my great fault in speaking, 
pitching my voice on too high a key. It was almost the sole cause of 
the other fault which you took so much pains to correct. They cured 
me here the first evening. And I speak now so as to please myself 
tolerably well, which I did not in Philadelphia. This week I finish. 
I have received requests to read Lectures in Boston and Portsmouth. 
I propose to read in Hartford, in May, during the Session of the Legis- 
1 Pickering Papers, xix. 27. 


LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 127 

lature, in New Haven, the beginning of June, and then proceed to 

A duel was fought last Friday evening between Mr Curson and Mr. 
Burling, the former can not recover of his wounds. The latter escaped, 
as Mr. Curson did not fire. 

The paper money bill is a law. The Impost passed the Assembly, 
under too many restrictions ; it is expected the Senate will make some 
amendments, and we do not despair that the Assembly will comply with 

Please to present my most respectful compliments to Mrs. Picker- 
ing, Mr. Hodgdon, and Miss White, and believe me, etc. 

New York, April 25th, 1786. 

P. S. The reception of your former letters I forgot to mention. 
Mr. Nichols will move his family this spring and waits for some infor- 
mation from Philadelphia to govern his determinations. 1 

Sir, — Yours by Mr. Hurd was received just as I was setting off for 
Albany. Y~our last, with the Primer, was forwarded from N. York by 
Dr. Johnson. 

Mr. Nichols will be in Philadelphia in June, and I will give him a 
letter to you. 

I like very well the method you have taken with the erroneous 
column in the Primer. It is now reprinting with nearly the same 
amendments ; substituting three proper words for figure 2. In this 
manner you have corrected it, it may be sold in Philadelphia. 

It appeals to me that your pronunciation of bone and behold is singu- 
lar ; I am inclined to reject the distinction of o 1 and o 2 . It is so 
trifling in all words that it is perhaps unnecessary ; altho it is most 
obvious in whole, bolt, etc. 

I would not infringe my general rule respecting e final by marking it 
in Italic. Its effect in softening c and g should have been mentioned ; 
but the omission will not probably occasion mistakes. 

Dose, to slumber, I supposed was right. I have no authorities with 
me to decide the question. 

Your opinion respecting has, hath, etc. appears to me singular ; but 
I may be wrong. 

Dera 2 nge is a mistake. I believe it is corrected in the last editions 
of the Institute. 

I never heard plant, pronounced pla 4 nt, etc. 

Butterfly etc have a second accent, but its not being mentioned can 
occasion no mistakes. Nice distinctions would rather perplex, than 
assist the young pupil. I conceive that the omission of the haif accent 
altogether in this work, would not have been material. 
1 Pickering Papers, xix. 44. 


Obduracy 1 shall always accent on the first syllable, our practice has 
analogy with it. Celibacy, the same. 

Teal we shorten, tit, but perhaps improperly. 

In table 2 Lesson 2 I substitute stroke for cloke. 

The distinction between Cruise, a voyage, and cruse, a cup, appears 
to me well established in practice and very useful. 

Our practice is in many respects, so different that it is almost impos- 
sible to reconcile our opinions. It will probably never be done till our 
alphabet shall be reduced to perfect regularity. I have a plan of the 
kind in contemplation. Dr. Ramsay, Chairman of Congress, has advised 
me to lay it before Dr. Franklin, and if approved, to have it come 
regularly before Congress. 

The plan is very simple and undoubtedly practicable. The idea is 
well received in New York and many of the most discerning Gentle- 
men in Congress are its warmest advocates. They have done me the 
honor to attend the Lectures and stand corrected in some particulars. 

As soon as I can complete the plan of a reformed Alphabet, I will 
direct it to you to be laid before Dr. Franklin. 

I have made a little tour up the Hudson, with particular views, and 
at the request of a few friends, am reading Lectures in this City. In a 
few days I shall proceed to New York and then to Hartford. 

Accept my thanks Sir, for your attention to my particular concerns 
and believe me, with respects for yourself and family, Your much 
obliged and very humble servant. 1 

Albany, May 12th, 1786. 

Sir, — On Saturday evening I returned from Albany. I have had 
the pleasure of receiving your favor by Dr. Craigge. I am in haste, 
and can only observe, that the mode of education you have described 
is generally agreeable to my ideas. I wish it might be adopted in all 
our commercial towns, and shall use my influence for this purpose. 

Mr. Nichols proposes to be in Philadelphia next month. He is 
capable of conducting a school well, and will want nothing but the 
countenance of influential men to push his exertions. I have seen Mr. 
Thomas's advertisements and shall make the design a matter of some 
attention when I travel eastward. With every acknowledgement for 
your attention, I am Sir, etc.* 

New York May 21st, 1786. 

Sir, — Enclosed is a Letter to Dr. Franklin covering the Plan of a 
Reformed Alphabet. 

I am in some haste, preparing for a journey to the eastward and 
consequently have not time to be very explicit. You will be so kind as 

1 Pickering Tapers, xix. 50 ; 2 54. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 129 

to wait on His Excellency aud will then have an opportunity of exam- 
ining the plan. I wish Sir, you would continue your freedom in making 
remarks and suggesting new ideas. 

The advantages expected from a reformation of the Alphabet are: 
1st. It will render the acquisition of the language easy both for 
natives and foreigners. All the trouble of learning to spell will be 

2. When no character has more sounds than one, every Man, 
woman, and child, who knows his Alphabet can spell words, even by the 
sound, without ever seeing them. 

3. Pronunciation must necessarily be uniform. 

4. The orthography of the language will be fixed. 

5. The necessity of encouraging printing in this country and of 
manufacturing all our own books, is a political advantage, obvious and 

6. A national language is a national tie, and what country wants it 
more than America ? 

Many other advantages will readily be suggested to your mind ; and 
I must think the scheme practicable. 

Please to direct Letters for me at Hartford, even when I am in 
Massachusetts or New Hampshire. I am Sir, with the highest re- 
spect, etc. 1 

New York, May 25, 1786. 

Sir, — I presume that you must have seen Mr Nichols before this 
time, as his business required him to be in Philadelphia about the loth 
of this month. I should have given him a Letter, but did not see him 
at Hartford in May, as I expected. 

I read my Lectures to a few friends in Hartford, but most people 
paid no attention to them. I was at home. In New Haven I have 
about 70 hearers, consisting of the best families in town, and a few 
scholars ; a greater number in proportion to the size of the town than 
I have had before ; and they seem more pleased with the plan than 
any audience I have had. 

Next week I go to Boston ; where I shall be happy to hear from 
you. I shall probably lodge at Mr. [Joseph] Ingersolls, in Queen 
Street 2 

I have received a letter from Dr. Franklin in answer to that which 
I sent him enclosing the scheme of a Reformed Alphabet. He deems 
the plan practicable and will give it all his support. He wishes me to 
go to Philadelphia soon and confer with him upon the subject ; his 
ideas being very similar to mine and it being difficult to discourse 

1 Pickering Papers, xix. 56. 

2 The name of the street was changed, July 4, 1783, to Court Street. 



about sounds on paper. But I cannot go till I have visited Boston 
and Portsmouth, as I had previously engaged to read lectures in both, 
before I received his Letter. 1 

Please to present my respects to Mrs. Pickering and the family and 
believe me your very obliged and most humble servant. 2 

New Haven, June 30th, 1786. 

Sir, — Your favor of the 30th past was received yesterday. I know 
not what reason can be assigned for Mr Nichol's conduct ; he was 
express in his declaration that he should be in Philadelphia in June. 
Some unexpected event must have prevented him. Many Good Char- 
acters may be obtained at Yale College, especially at this season, just 
before Commencement. But I shall not be there till October. 

My lectures will probably be ready for the press the ensuing winter. 
I am collecting everything from books and men which will confirm my 
principles or improve the work. I shall not however finish them till I 
see Dr. Franklin which will probably be the last of October or begin- 
ning of November. He has written to me twice on the subject of some 
reformation and requested an interview with me, as soon as I have read 
Lectures in these Eastern Towns. Men of Literature and particularly 
the clergymen, who are liberal and sensible in their parts, are in 
favor of my ideas. But the people in Boston did not attend the 
lectures. I had but 30 generally, and never more than 60. Among 
these however were the most influential of the literati. In Salem I 
have 40 constant hearers ; and next week I proceed to Portsmouth. 

I must procure my paper for the Lectures in Philadelphia and I shall 
want about 80 Reams of the finest Demi (I believe they call it) which 
can be made. It should be equal to the best writing paper. I propose 
to print 1500 copies, large Octavo, and it will make, probably 400 
pages. I must request you, Sir, to contract for the paper and have it 
made before cold weather. I expect to pay cash and at least half in 

I wish some New England masters would open school in Philadelphia ; 
they would give a new turn to the mode of education in that City. I 
will do what I can to encourage them. 

There is a political ferment in this State. Some towns are disposed 
for a Convention to redress Grievances, the principal of which are 
taxes and the existence of a Senate in the legislature. People wish 
to get rid of these evils immediately. Sutton has burnt its tax bill, 
and another town has voted not to pay taxes. Storms of this kind are 
sudden and transient ; men of sense and judgement will never oppose 

1 Franklin to Webster, June 18, 1786. — "Writings of Benjamin Franklin " 
(Smyth), ix. 518. 

2 Pickering Papers, xix. C4. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 131 

the execution of laws which are made by the body of the people, and 
which the leading characters judge salutary. It is a fact, demonstrated 
bv correct calculation, that the common people in this Country drink 
Rum and Tea sufficient every year to pay the interest of the public 
debts, — articles of living, which so far from doing them any good, 
injure their morals, impair health and shorten their lives. A man has 
a right in a political view to make himself sick or drunk when he 
pleases, provided he does not injure himself or his neighbors ; but 
when by these means he renders himself unable to fulfil the duties of 
society or comply with the laws of the State, very little indulgence 
should be granted to his vices. The best way to redress grievances is 
for every man, when he gets a sixpence, instead of purchasing a pint 
of Rum or two ounces of tea, to deposit his pence in a desk, till he has 
accumulated enough to answer the calls of the Collector. Every man 
who does this sacredly, redresses his own Grievances. I am Sir, with 
gratitude and respect, Your humble Servant. 1 
Salem August 10, 1786. 

Advertisement. 2 

To-morrow evening, At half after seven o'clock, in Mr. Hunt's 
School-House, Mr. Webster will begin a short Course of LEC- 
TURES on the English Language and on Education. The course 
will consist of Six Lectures ; the heads of which are the following. 

I. Introduction. Origin of the English Language. Derivation of the 
European Languages from the ancient Celtic. General History of the 
English Language. Its Copiousness. Effect of this. Irregularity of 
its Orthography. Causes of this. 

II. Elements of the English Language investigated. Rules of 
Pronounciation. Different Dialects of the Eastern, the Middle and 
the Southern States. 

III. Some Differences between the English and Americans con- 
sidered. Corruption of Language in England. Reasons why the 
English should not be our Standard, either in Language or Manners. 

IV. Prevailing Errors in the use of Words. Errors of Gramma- 
rians in the Arrangements of the Verbs. Consequences of these in the 
most correct Writings. 

V. Poetry. Principles of English Verse explained. Use and ef- 
fect of the several Pauses. Effects of different poetic Measures illus- 
trated by Examples. 

VI. General Remarks on Education. Defects in our mode of 
Education. Influence of Education on Morals, and of Morals on 

1 Pickering Papers, xix. 74. 

2 From the " Massachusetts Centinel," July 12, 1786, A complimentary notice 
of the first lecture appeared in the Centinel of July 15. 


Government. Female Education. Connection between the Mode of 
Education and the Form of Government. Effects of an European 
Education in America. Tour of America a useful Branch of Educa- 
tion. Conclusion. 

gg"* Tickets to be sold at the Post-Office, and at Mr. Battelle's 
Book-Store in Marlborough-Street, at 1 2s. the course, for Gentlemen, Gs. 
the course for Ladies, and 3s. a Ticket for an evening. 

After the course shall be finished, a lecture will, if desired, be de- 
livered for the benefit of the poor ; consisting of remarks on the popu- 
lation, agriculture, literature, climate and commerce of the United 
States, taken mostly from actual observation. After the first lecture 
the evenings proposed are Monday, Wednesday and Friday ; the even- 
ing after Commencement excepted. 

Those who purchase a Ticket for the first evening may afterwards 
take a Ticket for the course at 9s. Boston July 12, 1786. 

Boston, September 13, 1786. 

Sir, — From Salem I proceeded to Portsmouth, and on my return 
I read Lectures in Newbury Port ; in these towns I had about as many 
hearers as in Boston. I had about 30 in Boston, 40 in Salem, about 
30 in Portsmouth, and 25 in Newbury Port. 

Since I have been Eastward, some Gentlemen in this town have 
obtained subscriptions for a repetition of one or two of my Lectures. 
If a few more should be added this day, I shall read on Monday 

My books are gaining ground, and there are editions now in the 
press in New York and Boston. I shall next week proceed to 

This State is in great tumult. The Court of Common Pleas has 
been stopped in Hampshire, Worcester, and Middlesex. In Bristol 
General Cobb had orders to raise the militia, which he did and took 
possession of the Court House and the Court was regularly opened and 
adjourned. Cobb had about 300 men, with a field piece, the mob 
amounted to 500 men, about 40 of whom had arms ; but their arms 
disappeared on sight of the militia. The people were not outrageous, 
and it is believed that decisive measures, taken in season would have 
enabled the other Courts to sit or at least to have adjourned as they 
did in Taunton. The mob is headed by some desperate fellows, with- 
out property or principle. Many well-meaning people are led into 
opposition merely by false information and the truth, diffused among 
the people at large, would soon restore tranquillity. I am, etc. 1 

1 Pickering Papers, xix. 78. A long letter from Webster to Governor Bowdoin, 
of Massachusetts, on the continental finances, dated March 16, 1787, is in 7 Coll. 
vi. 173. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 133 

To Jeremy Belknap. 

Hartford, September 19, 1789. 
Sir, — I have contracted for the finishing of Winthrop's History, 
and will thank you to forward it, well enclosed, by the first conveyance. 
There are two Gentlemen from this town in Boston, I believe at Mr. 
Archibald's 1 behind the Old Brick [Church]. Your compliance will 
oblige, your most obedient etc. 2 

Hartford, October 10th, 1791. 

Sir, — After the great favors I have received from you and the confi- 
dence you have gained in my esteem, the subject of this letter will not 
be surprizing to you. The Copy right of my Institute in Pensylvania 
and the neighboring states is again in my own hands. The terms of 
Contract with Mr. Young did not please me and I have purchased his 
right, or rather his pretensions to right. At present I wish to publish 
the work myself, tho' I have hardly capital to spare for the purpose. 
I have an addition of a dozen pages to make to the Spelling book, viz. 
a Moral Catechism. The work then will consist of about 160 pages. 
The Selections abridged will make about 200 or 220 pages. This 
abridged edition has taken place of the other here, and is very saleable. 
I wish to supply New York market with this part, from Philadelphia, 
and the sale there is about 600 or 700 annually. The sale of the 
Spelling book by Mr. Young has been about 7000 a year. 

The expense of an impression of 5000 Spelling books is thus 
70 Reams of paper a 14/ £49. 0. , p 

Printing 61-2 sheets a £5 32. 10. [ J^,' 

£81. 10.0 ' Urr J * 
This calculation is high, for paper, I believe, of a suitable quality may 
be purchased at 12/ or 13/, and I think £5 a sheet for printing is too 
high ; but of this I am not a competent judge. 
5000 Copies in Sheets @ /7 £129. 3. 4. 

I shall not bind the books, but sell them in sheets at /Id. which I 
believe is the customary price, tho of this I am not certain ; I wish to 
keep them at the usual price. 

Now, Sir, if your business will possibly admit of your calling on 
some printer, or bookseller, (I have sent Mr. [John] Fenno a line on 
the subject) to know whether any of them will undertake to print the 

1 Francis Archbald, Church Square, Cornhill, who took in " gentleman 

2 Belknap Papers, n. 24. Another letter to Belknap, on the publication of 
Winthrop, is in 6 Coll. iv. 430. Webster, in February, 1788, planned to publish 
a magazine. See same volume of the Collections, 385. 


books on their own account and allow mo a share of the profits, or on 
///// account and charge me with the printing and paper, selling the 
books in sheets, and crediting me the net proceeds, taking a commission 
for the business, I should be very glad indeed. If it is necessary for 
me to advance a part of the money, I will do it. The printers I should 
prefer arc Mr. [John] Fen no, Mr. [Joseph] Crukshank, Mr. [Benjamin 
Franklin] Bache, Mr. [Francis] Bailey; but this I leave to you, 
excepting that for the sake of Mr Fenno and family, I wish to give a 
preference. It might require some trouble and time, tho I should 
imagine not much, to make a contract in the first instance; but after 
that, no trouble at all. I would allow ten per Cent on the proceeds 
of sale to any person transacting the business and advancing the 
money ; and five per Cent for transacting the business without 

I hope, Sir, your official business will not prevent your assisting me 
in this matter ; as I do not repose the same confidence in any other 
man. Otherwise, you may appoint a person you can rely upon to do 
this business and I shall acquiesce. 

I am very happy in your late appointment, believing it must be 
agreeable to your family as well as acceptable to yourself. 

With respects for Mrs. P. and your friend, I am etc. 1 

Hartford, December 18th, 1791. 
Sir, — Your obliging favor of the 8th Current has been reed. No 
apology was necessary for your delaying an answer to mine. I know 
your heart, Sir, too well to ask for one in any case. I supposed good 
reasons for your delay, and wrote to Mr. Ely to make some enquiries 
for me ; but have yet received no answer from him. The price of 
printing is so much higher in Philadelphia than here, that at present 
I shall relinquish the plan of getting work done in Philadelphia. I can 
get the Spelling book printed here for four pence, Pennsylvania Cur- 
rency, paper included ; and any of our printers would do it for less 
than^e pence. I should however be under no apprehension of not 
selling the book at a profit even giving six pence, were it not for 
Campbell whose conduct, in striking off 50,000 at the close of his 
term, I was before apprized of, and which deserves, and may hereafter 
receive, serious notice. On this subject however it is necessary to 
observe silence. But he may push thousands into the Philadelphia 
market at a very low price, he almost certainly will, altho he has no 
more right, than any of the New England Printers, so to do. How- 
ever I have an additional half sheet for the work, which will contain 
what I call " A Moral Catechism, or Lessons for Saturday." This I 
think will be a valuable addition to the work, and give my impression 

1 Pickering Papers, xix. 215. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTEK, 1786-1840. 135 

a decided preference in market. As Campbell cannot print this little 
pamphlet to add to the Spelling book, I hope to obtain in part that 
sale for my impression which his integrity would not give me in the 
Philadelphia market, which is now wholly my right. 

I shall early in Spring send some books from Hartford to some 
bookseller in that City. I suppose the market is at present supplied. 

My dissertations, 1 which cost me a large sum of money, lie on hand, 
and must, I believe, be sold for wrapping paper. Some of my Essays 
found sale, perhaps a third ; the remainder will probably be a dead 
loss. Mr. Dobson had 100 of each, and I am almost afraid to ask for 
his account of sales, for fear he will bring me in debt for binding. 

Have you seen the Prompter?' 2 A small impression here sells 
rapidly, it probably would in Philadelphia. I sent a Copy to Mr. 
Wolcott, desiring him to give you the reading of it. If an impression 
of 1000 or 1500 would sell in Philadelphia, a license for printing it 
might be obtained ; and the author stands in need of any little profit 
that would arise from the sale. 

Of your obliging attention to my requests, be assured of my 
sensibility, as well as my respect for your character ; and that no man 
is readier to serve you than, Sir, your most obedient and most humble 

P. S. I should be happy to know whether my answer to the Review 
of my Essays has appeared in the Columbian Magazine. 3 

Hartford, March 10th, 1792. 

Sir, — Enclosed with this I send you a Copy of the Prompter, which 
I will thank you to get printed in Philadelphia. Experiment proves it 
will sell. One impression here is gone, another at Albany is selling 
rapidly. I am willing to take the risk of an impression of 1500 or 
2000 in Philadelphia. Please to get it done in the cheapest and best 
manner, but on a smaller letter and in a less size. My opinion is that 
it should be done in sixteens and on a small pica. In that manner it will 
make about the same number of pages, or three sheets. A ream of 
paper to 1/2 a sheet will make about 900 complete copies. Six reams 
then will make that number of books. I believe it will be safe to print 
two reams in a half sheet ; so that 12 reams will complete 1800 books. 
If it is necessary to advance money for the paper, please to draw on me 
for it at a short sight. I wish the paper to be very good and the letter 
also. The binding I wish to be in marble paper , but as they may be 

1 "Dissertations on the English Language . . . with an Essay on a reformed 
Mode of Spelling," Boston, 1789. 

2 "The Prompter; or a Commentary on Common Sayings and Subjects," 
which passed through many editions. 

3 Pickering Papers, xix. 245. 


bound as they are called for, little money need be advanced for that; 
indeed they maybe 6old in sheets, at a price we can fix, when the ex- 
pense of the paper and printing is ascertained. If the printer will not 
wait for his money till the books sell, I will pay a draft for it. But I 
conceive there can be no difficulty on this score. I calculate the ex- 
pense of paper and printing and binding not to be higher than 7 cents, 
or 8 at farthest. Perhaps it will. 

If I am not known generally to be the writer of the book, I wish to 
be concealed, especially in Philadelphia. The writer, while unknown, 
has been called in that city a very wise man, but should it be known 
among my enemies that Noah Webster wrote it, I am confident both 
the writer and the book will be abused. With sentiments of respect, I 
am, etc. 

P. S. Which of the Booksellers, in your opinion, Sir, may be best 
entrusted with a commission of books ? x 

Hartford, March 31, 1792. 

Sir, — I thank you for yours by mail. I highly approve of your 
employing Mr. Cist to print the Prompter, and cannot say his terms 
are unreasonable. Paper is higher in Philadelphia than here. I must 
suspend the printing at present for want of money, merely on account 
of the low price of bills on Europe. I sent one to New York ; just at 
Mr. [William] Duer's failure, and my agent will not sell it, nor do I 
choose he should, till the price rises. And as I have no other present 
resource, the work must be suspended, if the printer expects ready pay, 
which I suppose he does. 

I am also doubtful about so large a number as 1800. Will it not be 
prudent to publish a smaller number, at first. On this head, I wish for 
the opinion of yourself and some of the booksellers who have seen some 
of the numbers. 

I will let you know when I can pay for printing, that the work may 

Mr. [Mathew] Carey has republished some of the numbers from the 
papers ; if convenient, please to suggest to him, from the author, the 
impropriety of his continuing them since the work is placed under 
the protection of Law. I am, Sir, with great friendship and respect, 
etc. 2 

Hartford, August 26, 1792. 

Sir, — I must request you, if I do not trouble you too much, to en- 
quire of the Brick-makers in Philadelphia their manner of manufactur- 
ing their best brick. It is certain their bricks are much better than we 
have made in Connecticut. Whether their clay is pure or mixed with 

1 Pickering Tapers, xix. 258 ; 2 263. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 137 

sand; how they pulverize it and mix it with water; how long they let 
the brick dry before burning ; whether the bricks when dry are put into 
the moulds a second time ; whether the moulds are lined and with what ; 
how the bricks are burnt, etc. are inquiries I wish to have made ; as 
some information on this subject may assist our manufacture of thi3 
article. I want early intelligence on this subject, as we are about 
building a large Court house in this town of the best materials. I hope 
I do not trouble you too much and am with great respect, etc. 1 

Hartford, November 11th, 1792. 

Sir, — By last evenings mail I received 50 dollars from Mr. Cist on 
account of sales of my books ; but he does not say what books. I have 
no way for accounting for this, but by supposing he has printed the 
Prompter ; if so, I am indebted for it to your negotiation, and beg you 
will accept my thanks. 

The bearer of this, Mr. John Leffingwell, is a Joiner (or in Pensyl- 
vania dialect) a house Carpenter, who has contracted to perform that 
part of the Court House in this City. He has some business in Phila- 
delphia, and perhaps you can help him to some information that may be 
useful to him. 

Your letter on brick-making, Sir, was duly received and its contents 
communicated to the Superintendants of the proposed Court House. 
They are, I believe, not public-spirited enough to hire such a workman 
as you mention ; but they agree with you in opinion that such a manu- 
facture would be useful. I wish some enterprizing master-workman 
would come here and begin the business, for a beginning only is 
wanted to make it flourish. Our clay is so good and in such abundance, 
labor and wood are so much cheaper than in Philadelphia, that our 
manufacturers might afford stock brick lower than those in Philadel- 
phia. We should supply New York, and lower the price in Pennsyl- 
vania. Had I capital, I would patronize the undertaking, but vires 
desunt. I will thank you to point Mr. Leffingwell to some of the 
manufacturers of brick that he may communicate on the subject. I 
am, etc. 

P. S. Mr. Bradley has called on me and explained the matter of the 
bills enclosed. I shall be happy to render him any civility and you, 
any service in my power. I have given him my opinion as to one 
method in which I suppose depredations have been committed, with[out] 
any fraud in the Post masters. 2 

Hartford, April 10th, 1793. 
Sir, — In order to carry into effect the plan proposed, it is necessary 
to have from you an order or warrant to all the Post Masters between 

1 Pickering Papers, xix. 271 ; 2 276. 


New York and Hartford, to open the bag between these two places, 
during your pleasure or mine. The plan we have formed, if prosecuted 
some weeks or months, will ensure success, if any crime is committed 
during that time; and the wickedness is not in the Offices, which, I be- 
lieve, is not the Case. 

I propose to be in New York next Sunday or Monday, where I shall 
wait for your orders to the post masters, as above, which please to en- 
close to me at that place, as soon as you receive this. The expense of 
this business will not, I hope, exceed that of one Journey to New York. 
I am, etc. 1 

Hartford, April 22d, 1793. 

Sir, — I have just arrived from N. York. Our plan will begin this 
week, it is highly agreable to those to whom it is communicated. I 
will thank you to be silent on the subject, except to me or Mr. Beau- 
man ; 2 and for safety it may be best not to write explicitly ou the sub- 
ject at present. Your draft on Mr. Bauman was paid, he told me he 
would return the bill, ixiid, the next day ; this will be my receipt. 
When do you set out for Sandusky ? I am, etc. 3 

New York, January 8th, 1794. 

... I believe Mr. Young has the last edition of my S[pelling] 
Book; the last Connecticut impression, I believe, is the 13th or 14th. 
Please to enquire for that which has the " Moral Catechism," and if it 
is not in Philadelphia, I will send you what you may want. 

My principal view in formiug my present plan of business was to 
print my own books, correctly, and take the benefit of them. We shall 
have out an edition early in Spring. 

I have a sincere desire that postage may be taken from carriage of 
newspapers, except a small duty of perhaps 1/2 Cent to the postmas- 
ters. I find it a great objection to the taking of papers in the country : 
And I cannot see the policy of it, when the revenue must be trifling. 
Excuse this freedom ; my opinion is probably different from yours. 
I am, etc. 

P. S. By a vessel from Liverpool we learn, the late Queen of 
France has followed her husband. 4 Quern Deus vult perdere, prius 
dementat ! 5 

1 Pickering Papers, xli. 125. 

2 Sebastian Bauman, postmaster at New York. 

3 Pickering Papers, xli. 130. 

4 Marie Antoinette was executed October, 1793. 
6 Pickering Papers, xix. 307. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 139 

New York, November 24th, 1796. 

Sir, — Permit me to ask you as a private man and a friend, how 
long the delicacy of our government will suffer every species of 
indignity from the agents of the French nation in this Country ? 
Why are not the details of the negociation of 1783 given to the public? 
Why not inform our fellow citizens of the Imperious demand made by 
the Committee of Safety through Mr. Munroe, of a " Copy," of the 
Treaty with Great Britain, before it was ratified ? 1 Why not collect 
and publish evidence of the bribery of the agents of that nation in 
America ? Our people do not know the extent of their intrigues, nor 
the base treatment our government receives and has received from 
them. I feel much mortified at the abuses received ; and regret the 
strength of the French party in our country. Could not the French 
minister, in case of a civil disturbance, command force enough- in the 
City and County of Philadelphia to drive every honest man away and 
lay waste the city? I firmly believe it. Are we then to be split 
into parties to become the convenient tools of foreign intrigues? For 
mercy's sake let the government assume a decided tone. We had 
better surround our Country with a wall of brass, than to be thus torn 
into factions by the agents of powers, in whose rivalries we have not 
the smallest interest. Pardon my earnestness, and believe me, etc. 2 

New York, December 8, 1796. 

Sir, — I have received yours of the 6th and thank you for it. 

I once conversed with Mr. King on the subject of publishing the 
material facts in the negociation of 1783. He said, a motion had once 
been made in Senate for the purpose ; but was not carried through, 
on account of the delicacy of disclosing some things that implicated 
certain American characters. Now this, in my mind, is one of the 
most substantial reasons, why the whole ought to be published. I think 
it should be a main object of government, to arrest every attempt to 
introduce an improper foreign influence ; and that no measure will 
better answer this purpose, than that of making examples of American 
citizens, who yield to that influence. It appears to me, that the 
exigency is the same, as that which would induce the Commander of an 
army to make a public example of the first Deserter. 

If permission can be obtained from the Executive of the United 
States, I would undertake to examine the papers relative to the Negoci- 
ation of 1783, and select for publication such parts, as are necessary to 
exhibit the real views of the powers then at war, their cabinet in- 
trigues and designs on the United States. To effect this, it would 

1 The Jay treaty. 

2 Pickering Papers, xx. 414. 


hardly be necessary to apply to the records in the office of State, as 
Governor Jay has copies, I believe, of all the principal papers. Some 
of them I have read, and have his permission to read the whole, for 
my private information. 

I am the more anxious to avail myself of those documents, as I 
intend to devote a considerable portion of time, this winter, in develop- 
ing the history and views of the French nation. I am convinced that 
they formed as early as 1792, the vast project of a general Revolution, 
and have since added to their views the design of Conquests as exten- 
sive as the Roman Empire, in the plenitude of the Greatness of her 
power. I am astonished, on running over the papers of 1792 and 3, 
to see how evidently this project appeared, and how little apprehension 
it has excited in America. 

I submit to you the propriety and expediency of laying my request 
before the President. In the present posture of affairs, prudence will 
suggest the impolicy of irritation ; at the same time there is no ques- 
tion, that the great mass of Citizens of the United States, are utterly 
ignorant of the real views and character of the French Government. 
In the case of further troubles with France, how are those steady and 
intelligent men, who constitute the yeomanry of our country, and who 
are its strength and defense, to know exactly the merits of the contro- 
versy, and to form a just estimate of that nation, without being informed 
of the Cabinet transactions of France from the beginning of our Revolu- 
tion ? It is beyond a question, in my mind, that the French Strength in 
our country, rests principally on a general ignorance of the views of 
that nation. 

From Great Britain, I see no reason to fear. The vexations suffered 
from her Cruisers on the seas, (which indeed are provoking enough) 
will be the amount of what we are to apprehend from her. The 
Government treats ours with respect, and I believe no nation on earth 
but the French attempts to excite disaffection to the government, in 
every country where her citizens are permitted to reside. With great 
respect, I am, etc. 1 

New York, May 22, 1797. 

Sir, — Your favor of the 19th is duly received, and the paper re- 
quested enclosed. 1 have first taken an attested copy of the original 
French of Mr. Jefferson's letter to prevent accidents. 2 

I believe the translation I have given and which you have seen in 
the papers, will be found substantially correct. It is possible some 

1 Pickering Papers, xx. 419. 

2 Jefferson'js letter to his friend, Philip Mazzei, dated April 24, 179G. Jeffer- 
son complained to Madison that the letter had suffered in translating, and much 
political capital was made of it by the Federalists. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 141 

errors might have crept into the letter, on its first translation into 
Italian or French from the original. I presume the word "legislature" 
is thus improperly used for Constitution or Government, as I have 
translated it — as the original makes the judiciary a branch of the 
legislature. I am, etc. 1 

New York, May 30th, 1797. 

Sir, — The paper containing Mr. Jefferson's Letter to M. Mazzei, 
makes part of a file belonging to a Mr. Jones, a friend of mine, who 
has this da) 7 called for them. If you have no further use for it, I will 
thank you to send it to me. Perhaps you will think it prudent to take 
an attested copy. 

I wish to know, Sir, whether the translation made from the French 
into the Minerva, 2 has done Mr. Jefferson any injustice. If so, a 
fresh and authentic translation will set all right with the public. I 
presume there is no longer any doubt of its genuineness. I am, etc. 3 

New York, July 2, 1797. 

Sir, — In my absence, a letter from you was received at our office 
and opened by the Company. 4 I thank you for the public business, 
and trust it will be done to your satisfaction. 

I have advertised for Colden's History, 5 as I want a copy for myself, 
and trust I shall be able to procure one for each of us. 

I will thank you to write hereafter to the Company, on business of 
the office, as I do not allow Mr. Hopkins to open my letters, and I do 
not attend at the office in person. I find it necessary to rid myself 
of office drudgery, to devote my time to my other duties as Editor. 
Private business please to direct to me, and I shall esteem it a pleasure 
to serve you. 

Can you without trouble send me a Copy of the History of the 
U. States No. o, 6 advertised in Fenno. 7 Mr. Hamilton and myself wish 
to see it, and one copy will answer for both, as by the advertisement 
we see it contains downright lies. I am, etc. 8 

1 Pickering Papers, xxi. 127. 

2 The federal organ in New York, of which Webster was the editor. The first 
issue was made December 9, 1793. 

3 Pickering Papers, xxi. 137. 

4 The Minerva Company, Hopkins being the business head of it. 

5 Cadwallader Colden's " History of the Five Indian Nations," first issued in 

6 James Thomson Callender's " History of the United States for 1796." The 
fifth part contained the charges against Hamilton which called out his "Observa- 
tions on certain Documents contained in No. v and vi of," etc. 

7 John Penno, editor of the " United States Gazette." 

8 Pickering Papers, xxi. 162. 


New York, July 7, 1797. 

Sir, — I thank you for the pamphlets, not that they are worth any- 
thing, but because the sending them has caused you some trouble and 
is a proof of your readiness to oblige me. Colonel Hamilton has reason 
to be angry, and expresses some intention of pursuing the authors. 
The lies told about vie are too inconsiderable to rouse resentment. But 
I believe such a pack of scoundrels as our opposition and their creatures, 
was never before collected into one country. Indeed they are the 
refuse, the sweepings of the most depraved part of mankind, from the 
most corrupt nations on earth. 

I enclose you Colden's History, which please to accept from me, and 
believe me, etc. 

P. S. The late discoveries of Patriotism and the attempt of one 
Keeler to abscond, occupy our attention. We want to know the whole 
truth. 1 

New York, September 20, 1797. 

Sir, — Mr. Taylor 2 informs me that you have answered the Cheva- 
lier's Letter, and that your answer is in the press. Will you be good 
enough, Sir, to send me a Copy, as soon as it is published. I suppose 
it will appear in the papers, and I wish to be early in giving it to my 
Subscribers. With much respect, I am, etc. 3 

New York, September 23, 1797. 

Sir, — I thank you for your letter of the 21st and the inclosures. 
I have read your Answer to the Chevalier, with pleasure and satisfaction. 
I never had but one opinion on the points of Controversy, and it is evi- 
dent, that the French and their creatures in this country contrive sub- 
jects of controversy, precisely as they do in Europe, when they mean to 
come to an open rupture with a state. In this manner, the French in 
Italy have, I say it on good evidence, occasioned the violences and dis- 
putes, which were intended as pretexts to apologize for war, and the 
revolutions they had projected. 

I have called on Mr. Cox, 4 the Gentleman who left New Orleans in 
August. He informs me that he saw Mr. Ellicott, 5 July 24, who told 
him, that he expected to be put in possession of the posts very soon. 

1 Pickering Papers, xxi. 173. 

2 George Taylor, Jr. 

3 Pickering Papers, xxi. 251. It is endorsed by Pickering : " Answered 20. 
Sent him the letter to Yrujo, informing him it was not published, and it was only 
for the private information of himself and friends, etc. etc." See " Life of Timo- 
thy Pickering," in. 405. 

4 Daniel William Coxe, a brother of Tench Coxe. 

5 Andrew Ellicott, commissioner under the treaty with Spain, October 20, 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1810. 143 

But Mr. Cox tells me, he does not believe the event will take place. 1 
He saw and conversed with the Baron de Carondelet, 2 and with Gov- 
ernor Gayoso. 3 They appear to be friendly enough to the United S,tates ; 
but declare that the grant of a free navigation of the Mississippi to the 
English in the American Treaty, is the main obstacle to a fulfilment of 
the treaty by the Spanish Government. (It is strange that men of 
common understanding should lay stress on a point which you have re- 
futed, but which on the face of the Treaties, of 1763 and subsequent, 
is utterly absurd.) 

Mr. Cox tells me, Captain Guion, 4 with his detachment, passed New 
Madrid, when he was going down, with drums beating and colors flying. 
He thinks there has not been a good understanding between the Baron 
[Carondelet] and Gayoso, 5 on the points in dispute. Indeed he speaks 
of it with certain knowledge. This may account for some contradictory 
orders and indecision among the Spanish Officers at different posts. 
Mr. Cox heard nothing of Blount's affair 6 in that country, nor until he 
arrived in New York. By which it appears that it is not a subject of 
conversation among the Spaniards. It seems that the people had sur- 
rounded the Governor's house, but were easily diverted from any acts 
of violence. All is quiet. 

Such are the scraps of information I have obtained from an intel- 
ligent Gentlemen, but who appears to have no official information. 
He brought dispatches to the Spanish Minister, which may contain 
further information. 

I have cast my eye over the answer to Pastoret. 7 It is a proof, 
either of a direct communication between our Jacobins, and the writer, 
or of a common spirit appropriate to Jacobinism all over the world. 
It is hard to say which to admire most, this writer's ignorance or his 

We hardly know what charge to make for publishing the laws of the 
United States. I had supposed the charges of other printers were 
made by the square, but Mr. Fen no tells me, not. The charge is made 
by the page in the printed copy of the Laws. Will you, Sir, be 
good enough to give me the rule or practice? It will oblige, Sir, your 
most, etc. 8 

1 For difficulties raised by the Spaniards, see Gayarre, History of Louisiana, 
in. 366. 

' l Francois Louis Hector, Baron de Carondelet. 

3 Gayoso de Leraos, governor of Natchez. 

4 Captain Guion, sent by General Wilkinson to take command at Natchez. 
Gayarre, in. 391. 

5 In the fall of 1797 Carondelet left for his new post at Quito, and was suc- 
ceeded by Gayoso, who was installed in office August 1, 1797. 

6 The so-called conspiracy of United States Senator William Blount. 

7 Claude Emmanuel Joseph Pierre, Comte de Pastoret. 

8 Pickering Papers, xxi. 257. 


New York, October 31, 1797, 

Sir, — Inclosed is a letter which came to me from Mr. [Rufus] 
King, who says not a word on the subject, nor what he sent it for. If 
authentic, it is of importance, as throwing light on late Conspiracies. 
It probably is; but I find that the date is July, 1793, and the writer 
speaks of a letter written to him by General [George Rogers] Clarke, 
of the second of February, if I understand it. But Genet did not arrive 
in Charleston till March. This puzzles me, and I request an explana- 
tion. I will thank you to return me the letter, with your opinion of 
its authenticity, and how it was obtained. 

I send you also a full state of the questions relative to the Decree 
of March 2d, and the Role of Equipage. If you have not seen it, you 
will be pleased with it. I may want it again ; if so, I will write for it. 

I here take the liberty to suggest my own opinion, that the passport 
furnished for our vessels is quite incomplete ; and I have communicated 
this opinion to Mr. Wolcott. You will see what I say in the paper. 
1 do not express my opinion fully to the public ; but I have examined 
the subject closely ; and I am persuaded, that the Role of Equipage is 
required by the Treaty to be deposited in the Custom house, and such 
deposit should be certified in the passport. The Passport is the 
only evidence of that deposit which the French can require of Masters 
of vessels ; still for greater safety, I would have every vessel take an 
attested copy of the Role. There is one important reason for the list 
of passengers — our vessels are prohibited from carrying the enemies 
of France, if military men in actual service. How can this be known, 
unless the passengers are registered? I submit this to the government. 
It is a matter of infinite consequence, for the regular papers may not 
prevent the seizure and vexation of our vessels by a piratical Govern- 
ment and its agents, yet they will charge the underwriters, and perhaps 
hereafter procure indemnification of the French nation. The mer- 
chants are anxious on the subject and wish something might be im- 
mediately done. I am, etc. 1 

Pickering to Webster. 

Trenton, November 1, 1797. 
Sir, — I have this morning received your letter of yesterday with 
the paper sent you by Mr. King. I presume it is genuine. I have 
received two copies of it from General Pinckney, and as the General 
forwarded several of his letters thro' Mr. King, open for bis perusal, 
I conclude he took the copy transmitted to you, which I now return. 
I have compared it with my copies, they all agree in the date of 
General Clarke's letter, the 2d February, and as all of them were 

1 Pickering Papers, xxi. 328. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 145 

undoubtedly transcribed from one copy sent from Paris, the error may 
have been in this. 1 One of General Pinckney's copies of Genet's letter 
is dated 12th July, 1792, instead of 1793. Perhaps the Parisian copy 
might have le deux d'avril badly written, which then might easily be 
mistaken for fevrier. But if Genet arrived at Charleston not till 
March, how could General Clarke have heard of his arrival, and have 
written him so early as the 2d even of April ? I ask another question. 
What could have induced General Clarke to open a correspondence 
with Genet at all? In answer, I ask further, whether some secret 
French Agent was not employed before Genet's arrival, to tamper 
with the Western people relative to the conquest of Louisiana? Or 
if there were no such overtures, may we not conjecture that the project 
originated with the Keutuckians, who had been so long weary of the 
yoke imposed by the Spaniards on the Mississippi, and that their 
resentment, their interest, and their attachment to the French, then so 
nearly universal in America, prompted them to suggest the idea to the 
French Minister in Philadelphia as early as February 2d, 1793, and 
that this minister (Ternant) goiug out of office, prior to its arrival, the 
letter fell of course into the hands of Genet, who would then naturally 
say, " que vous nCavez ecrite " ? Perhaps too the letter was not directed 
to M. Ternant, but generally to the French Minister in Philadelphia. 
Beyond a doubt, considering Genet's vivacity and eagerness, he would 
answer the letter with the least possible delay; hence I conclude that 
Clarke's letter did not reach him till the beginning of July ; and hence 
that it was written to the French Minister, without any knowledge of 
Genet ; or that the date has been miscopied, and that it was not 
written in February or even in April, but at a later day. The 
medium thro' which Genet's letter came to me, its stile, and the 
project itself which we know was fostered and in a train of execution, 
leave no room to doubt its authenticity. The Colonel Fulton 2 of 
Kentuckey, who has been long and repeatedly in Paris, has been 
soliciting the pay promised to Clarke and his officers. What use 
should be made of this discovery is another question. As it relates to 
a measure so long since frustrated, I am inclined to think it neither 
necessary nor expedient to publish it. 

I received last evening half a dozen copies from Havre, of the 
observations concerning the American ship Juliana? carried in there as 

1 See " Correspondence of Clark and Genet " in Report of American His- 
torical Association, 1896, i. 930, and the " Correspondence of French Ministers 
to the United States, 1791-1797," edited by Frederick J. Turner, in the report 
of the Association for 1903. 

2 Samuel Fulton. 

3 A vessel of this name, Captain Hayward, was captured, in 1796 or 1797, on 
her voyage from Hamburg to Baltimore by a prize brig belonging to Commodore 



a prize ; and therefore return immediately the one you were so good as 
to semi me. 

I presumed the Treasury had given instructions about the role 
d } equipage in literal conformity with the terms of the passport. I 
suppose nothing more can be done until Mr. Wolcott's return to 
Philadelphia. I have been very unhappy that we so long omitted to 
prescribe the form of this role and give instructions to the Collectors ; 
altho' I considered the want of a role aVequipage no more a just cause 
for condemnation, than the want of a sea letter, on which some of the 
first condemnations took place in France, before their unprincipled 
government thought of the role oV equipage : and that other clear proofs 
of neutral, and especially of American property, ought to be admitted 
on supplying the want of those two papers, the direct and important 
object of which, or rather of the sea letter, (for I do not agree that the 
part of the form of the passport in the English language, if the French 
is less definite, requires a role oV equipage to be on board) was to save 
our vessels from the delays and injuries arising from being turned 
out of their course, and carried into port. As soon as Mr. Wolcott 
returns we will see what has been prescribed ; and if an amendment or 
addition appears necessary, give instructions accordingly. I am, Sir, 
very respectfully yours. 1 

Timothy Pickering. 

New York, November 2d, 1797. 

Sir, — I have received yours covering the pamphlet from Havre and 
the Letter of G[ene]t. I think it far from improbable that your last 
conjectures about the date of Clarke's letter are right. And let me add 
another idea. This project might not have been unknown in F ranee 
before Genet sailed, and this was perhaps the reason of his going first 
to Charleston. If so, we develope the insidious designs of the Revolu- 
tionary Government, as they by their agents, planned an invasion of 
Spainish Florida, long before war was declared. More of the schemes 
of that government are yet to be unfolded. 

Since I wrote you last, I have seen the Secretary of the Treasury 
[Wolcott], who insists on it that our passport in its present form is all 
that the Treaty requires. I confess he does not convince me. He says 
a great part of the French form in the passport, relating to entry of 
crew and passengers in the Custom house, is surplusage and a dead 
letter. This to me is unintelligible. Either the form as annexed to 
the Treaty is valid and binding in the whole or not at all. I see no 
ground to reason away a part of that paper. He says we have no 

Barney, carried to Porto Rico, and there dismissed. Pickering probably refers to 
a subsequent capture. 

1 Pickering Papers, vu. 412. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 147 

Registry of Seamen. True ; but in the time of war, the French have a 
right to take out of our vessels their enemies who are in actual military 
service. Now, what is [to] prevent, a vexatious Captain of a privateer 
from demanding of American Captains, proof that he has no such 
military men aboard ? I confess, Sir, I differ from Mr. Wolcott, for 
almost the first time in my life. I do firmly believe, and I find some 
of our most respectable merchants of the same opinion, that the pass- 
port does not comply with the Treaty ; and I do know, that some of 
our vessels have escaped seizure, by showing a Role, certified by some 

I am sorry to trouble you with my ideas, especially as Mr. Wolcott 
tells me I do not understand the subject. I know it is not my concern, 
but the multiplied losses of my fellow citizens, apparently for want or 
papers, hurts me. I am determined however to drop the subject. With 
great respect, etc. 1 

New York, November 3, 1797. 

Sir, — I have received your Explanation of the Certificate or Pass- 
port, and think it is probably just ; but it does not remove my objection, 
which is that the Role must be deposited with the Custom House 
Officer, to comply with the spirit and letter of the paper. It is not 
material whether the Captain is directed to swear that he will do a 
thing, or whether the form declares he shall do it. At any rate, on 
your own construction, a part of the requisitions of that paper are not 
complied with : Whether essential or not, it is not my province to de- 
cide ; but I am free to declare that I believe many losses have been sus- 
tained for want of the form and the role ; and in dealing with a piratical 
Government, governed by no steady principles even of apparent justice, 
it may be better to have more formalities than are required, rather 
than less. I conceive the papers called for by the French, might have 
been furnished originally by the Custom House without committing the 
Government. Indeed something of the kind has been done by the 
Secretary of the Treasury, and I believe with good effect. Your 
obedient servant in haste. 2 

To Jeremy Belknap. 

New York, January 4, 1798. 

Sir, — I am pursuing the investigation of the origin of the plague 
and yellow fever, and am put to great inconvenience for want of books. 
I have a favor to ask of you. I wish for all the information that can 
be obtained from ancient writers on American affairs, relative to the 

1 Pickering Papers, xxi. 331 ; 2 333. 


epidemics in this country. I have Oliver's account of the pestilence at 
Nantucket, which I presume is sufficient on that subject. I have some 
account of the great plague which destroyed the Indians just before 
the arrival of the Plymouth Colony, from Captain Dermer's Letter in 
Purchas, from Prince's chronology, from Gookin's Collections and from 
Hutchinson. But I want much Governor Bradford's account of it, 
and any other which you can give me. From Gookin it is clear the 
disease was the Yellow Fever, but I want all the evidence extant as to 
the nature of the disease, the year of its prevalence, for Prince and 
Gookin differ, the time of the year wheu it began, how long it raged 
and when it ceased. 1 

Have you any accounts of other Epidemics, which have been fatal in 
our country, except what you have related in your history ? If so you 
will oblige me by communicating them. Please to note the year of 
their beginning, their progress and ending. I am in a train to disprove 
the common doctrine of pestilential diseases. It will be demonstrated 
that infection is the agent of least consideration in propagating even the 
plague. With great respect, etc. 2 

New Haven, April 13, 1798. 

Sir, — I thank you sincerely for your attention in forwarding to me 
a Copy of the Dispatches in print. My impatience to see them was 
great, and I hastened to read them. 

I cannot say I am much surprized for I had watched the conduct of 
the Govern/nent of France very narrowly for three or four years, and 
had long ago made up my mind on its views as you may have perceived 
from the run of my published remarks. I have long conceived the 
leaders in that country to be as wicked as the Dispatches represent 

I hope and trust the publication will have a salutary effect on our 
own citizens, the only thing really formidable to us being disunion. 

I have long seen the French pursuing a system to render the whole 
earth tributary to them, and this system in America will certainly be 
resisted with effect. They may not attempt an invasion of this country, 
but in case of any fatal disaster to England, an invasion of America may 
not be improbable. The only thing that can insure us against that, is a 
broad, firm and effectual system of defense, by all parties united. This 
will spare us the dreadful alternative. 

The enemies of administration have this spring made a violent assault 
on the steady union and patriotism of Connecticut. Secret meetings in 
all parts of the State were held in March to combine their forces, and 

1 See Webster's " Brief History," 1. 176. 

2 Belknap Papers, in. 20. 

1900.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 149 

last Monday was the day of election. The result cannot be exactly 
known till May. But so far as can be learnt from particular towns, 
their efforts will end in exposing their imbecillity. The success and 
triumph of the advocates of our Government will be complete. 

I date this at New Haven, where my family will in future reside. 
My living is derived from the papers in New York, the politics of which 
are still under my direction. This removal is the accomplishment of a 
purpose of many years standing — that of having an income which will 
enable me to pursue, with little interruption, my taste for science. 

I expect to be in Philadelphia the last of this month. In the mean 
time I am, etc. 1 

New Haven, May 12th, 1798. 

Sir, — I have just returned from Hartford where the election for the 
State is annually held in May, and where the principal characters are 
usually assembled. 

I cannot describe to you, Sir, the spirit and indignation which is uni- 
versally manifested at the conduct of the French Government and their 
partizans in this country. The late effort of a pitiful party to influence 
our elections, and put into Congress men of principles hostile to admin- 
istration, has had a most auspicious effect. It has disclosed views which 
had been concealed from many unsuspecting men, and it has compelled 
the sober citizens of Connecticut, who have no wish to be involved in 
party disputes, but to obey the laws and be good citizens, to come 
forward and take sides. Never was so full an election. The usual 
number of votes for our Governor and Council, on former occasions, 
has been about 3000, on the present occasion the number exceeded 
7000. In the choice of Governor and Council there was no division. 
In the ticket for members of Congress, the full strength of opposition 
will appear, and this will not be known till the next week, but it is 
not supposed that the number of votes mustered by the clubs, can rise 
above 500. 

It is with pleasure I can say, not a whisper of opposition is heard in 
public in this State ; and in private the voice of objection and censure 
is nearly silenced. I rejoice also that every man of reputable character 
in this state appears well informed on the subject of the ultimate views 
of France. People appear to have correct ideas of the intentions of 
the French Government and the tendency of their principles to destroy 
all the pillars of public peace and private safety. It is further the 
unanimous determination of the body of our citizens to put into office 
no man who is not known to be firmly attached to the religious moral 
and political institutions, from which we have hitherto derived our 

1 Pickering Papers, xxn. 125. 


private blessings and political prosperity. To be suspected of disaffec- 
tion will now throw any man in this State, into o[b]scurity. 

Accept, Sir, my best wishes for your personal welfare, and believe 
me with great respect, Your obedient servant. 1 

New Haven, July 17th, 1798. 

Sir, — You probably have attended to a paragraph in the Commer- 
cial Advertiser of July 5th, which contained some illiberal reflections on 
the English Nation. The paragraph was written, it seems, by a Mr. E. 

AY n,' 2 a native of Plymouth County Massachusetts, now resident 

in New York. I knew nothing of it till two days after it was pub- 
lished. Mr. Hopkins admitted it, indiscretely, without adverting fully 
to its tendency ; and the censure was of course thrown on me. In con- 
sequence of it ten or twelve Englishmen discontinued their papers. 
This is a trifle, that I value not a straw; but the violence of the re- 
sentment of the English in New Y'ork knows no bounds. They are 
determined to overbear all other influence but their own. They are in- 
tolerably insolent, and strive, by all possible means, to lessen the circula- 
tion of my papers, and my influence, which 1 believe to be considerable 
in the interior of our country. I am told that columns of Porcupine's 
paper 3 are filled with abuse against me, for what I am as innocent of 
as his King. Mr. Waddington of New York wrote me a line, to dis- 
continue his paper, and sent it to New Haven. I wrote an answer 
which I supposed decent, but firm. He writes me to again that he has 
sent what he calls my rude letter to Porcupine to be published. This is 
uncivil and perfidious. The public are welcome to the letter, but he is 
no gentleman that takes such liberties with private correspondence. 

The papers we publish have a very extensive circulation, and I am 
told by men of the first respectability, in Congress, and in the country, 
that these papers have been greatly useful to the public in the progress 
of the present troubles. Whether they flatter me or not, I do not 
know. One thing I know, I have been faithful to my principles and 
to my country, and I have a subsistence by my labors. 

But the time is come when aliens, in the interest of foreign nations, 
are taking a lead in our politics, which to me is alarming. The English 
are determined to ruin my influence, if possible; for no reason, unless 
that I do not love England better than my own country : for I aver I 
never have treated their nation with disrespect. 

But I will not long submit to be thus abused by the subjects of for- 
eign nations. I shall withdraw my exertions for the support of gov- 
ernment, and as I shall be its advocate in private, I shall only support 

1 Pickering Papers, xxn. 156. 

2 Elkanah Watson. 
» William Cobbett. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 151 

it by my single suffrage. When aliens, assume such a tone and abuse 
honest faithful men, it is time for native citizens to retire and seek 
peace and quietness in more private occupations. I could raise a flame 
even now about the heads of the English, but it would be against 
the public interest. I therefore choose to retire, and be the victim ot 
party rancor. 

I have not the full means of subsistence, independent of the paper, 
nor shall I have, till my Institute returns to me in 1804. If I could 
find some decent employment, in the service of the United States, for a 
few years, I should be glad — an employment to which I am compe- 
tent, and which I could exercise with credit to myself and utility to the 
public. A military life, I am afraid, would be too severe for my con- 
stitution, and I know of no civil office now vacant, unless the new Land 
Tax bill has created some. But if there should be any to which you 
think me equal, you would oblige me by mentioning me to the Presi- 
dent. My wish would have been to continue in peace in my present 
situation, enjoying my scientific pursuits ; but the illiberal spirit of 
party too often interrupts my tranquility. Believe me, etc. 1 

New Haven, October 20th, 1799. 

Sir, — I have read with some attention the Pamphlet from Mr. 
Cathalan, 2 which you have been so kind as to send me. The Consul 
is entitled to great praise for his labors to serve this Country, and our 
acknowledgements are due to the faculty in Marseilles and Montpelier, 
for the communications. 

With respect to the merit of the work I must say, that although I 
would not relax, but improve the regulations for preventing the intro- 
duction of infectious diseases into our sea ports, yet I have satisfied 
myself that nine out of ten and more, of our pestilential autumnal fevers 
are the produce of our own atmosphere, and are not to be reached by 
Health Laws. In a few, Cases, such fevers creep into towns by infect- 
ing causes, but if they are propagated solely by contagion, they may be 
easily arrested. Not such are the fevers which ravage our cities. 
They will occasionally occur in spite of human power ■ and the more I 
investigate the subject of their causes, the less confident I am of success 
in the enquiry. I will challenge all the faculty in America to assign 
causes, consisting in visible and tangible substances, and as fast as they 
are assigned, I will disprove them by incontrovertible facts. In short, 
I can demonstrate that the principle which gives to fevers the pestilential 
quality, consists in the insensible properties of the atmosphere. But I 
cannot enter into detail. My Observations are in the press — the first 

1 Pickering Papers, xxu. 303. 

2 Stephen Cathalan, United States Consul at Marseilles, France. 


volume is finished and the second, I trust, will be printed by the second 
week in November. 1 The world will have before it an immense number 
of facts, and a theory altogether new resulting from the facts. 

I will only further observe here, that the alarm in Europe respecting 
the contagion of Yellow Fever, is likely to prove a most serious evil to 
our trade ; and it is certainly ill founded. Neither that fever, nor its 
sister malady the plague is ever propagated by goods, wares, and mer- 
chandize. Seamen and their cloths and bedding are all the articles 
that are to be feared, together with the hold and cabin of ships, and 
these are infinitely less to be feared than is commonly supposed. By 
an infallible criterion, derived from the character and phenomena of 
diseases, we are able to determine that every epidemic must necessarily 
originate in the place where it exists. This discovery is perhaps new. 

1 enclose you, Sir, the title page of my History, for the purpose of 
securing the Copyright, and request you will be pleased to forward to 
me a Certificate of this deposit. If any fees are to be paid, please to 
deduct them from the account due to E[benezer] Belden & Co. 2 And 
will it not be convenient, Sir, to forward to them the ballance? The 
fever suspends all our Collections of money for two or three months. 
I am Sir, etc. 3 

New Haven, March 3d, 1800. 

Sir, — I trouble you with this line, for the purpose of obtaining 
from you, if possible, some information, relative to the papers of 
General Washington bequeathed to Judge Washington. 4 I presume 
those papers contain the best Materials for a history of the American 
Revolution, and the necessary materials for a narrative of his life. 
The Life of General Washington will comprehend a summary ac- 
count of the Revolution and the establishment of the present govern- 
ment. It must be extremely interesting, and ought to be written by a 
man of eminent talents, and judgement, who holds a good pen — quali- 
fications much above my pretensions. But I have one advantage for 
undertaking such a work — my leisure. I have an income that, I 
trust, will support me in an uninterrupted pursuit of science, and I have 
seated myself here with that view. I know of no other man, in this 
country, who enjoys, at present, the same advantage for making use of 
the papers left by General Washington. I shall mention this idea to no 
one but yourself, until I have your opinion. I know not that I 
could obtain the papers, if I should apply for them ; and I shall not 
apply for them, nor would I have the subject mentioned, unless after 

i " A Brief History of Epidemic and Pestilential Diseases," Hartford, 1799. 

2 Webster's publishers in New York. Belden was his nephew. 
8 Pickering Papers, xxv. 251. 

4 Bushrod Washington. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 153 

suitable enquiries, it should be deemed advisable. The subject is inter- 
esting to the family, to this country and to the world ; and I would not 
expose myself to Censure, by an ill judged application. I am in no 
want of the employment, as a means of subsistence ; but if I had the 
materials, it would be my great pleasure to make the best use of them, 
that my abilities would permit. Should you see any objections to this 
project, that are of weight, please to say nothing on the subject ; but 
return me this letter. I rely on your steady friendship, and am with 
high respect, etc. 1 

New Haven, December 17, 1808. 

Sir, — I have received your favor of the 12th with the inclosure, for 
which please to accept my particular thanks. I had the day before 
received one from Mr. Hill house, 2 and I will thank you or him to send 
me Mr. Giles's. 3 The views you have respectively taken of the em- 
bargo and its effects, are strikingly just, in my apprehension, but will 
avail little in opposition to predetermined system, or violent party 
spirit. I hope however your speeches will be extensively published, 
and that in the country, they will have some effect. I hope the oppos- 
ers of Mr. Jefferson's plans and measures will be tranquil, and leave 
the measures to have their natural effect upon the public. Passions 
are increased and opposition rendered more violent and fixed by a col- 
lision of opinions. The federalists will do all they can to arrest the 
progress of bad measures, in transitu, but I think they had better be 
moderate in their opposition to them when passed. Such measures 
must in time work a cure. The evils we must suffer will be beyond 
calculation, but we had better submit to them, than not to be cured. 

In regard to the facts respecting the Report on Weights and Meas- 
ure, 4 I well recollect that I had been informed, many years ago, that 
Mr. Jefferson was indebted to Dr. Kemp, 6 of Columbia College, for 
the mathematical calculations. The fact was stated in my paper, if I 
do not misremember, and Dr. Kemp called upon to contradict the 
statement, but he never did. Of these facts I have a pretty distinct 
recollection, but I could not easily turn to the paper, nor can I affirm 
that my information respecting Dr. Kemp's agency in that Report, was 

If I recollect right, the idea of regulating weights and measures by a 
pendulum, was first suggested in the First Volume of Transactions of 

1 Pickering Papers, xxvi. 45. The task was performed by Chief-Justice 

2 James Hillhouse, senator from Connecticut. 

3 William Branch Giles, senator from Virginia. 

4 Jefferson's report, made in 1790. 

6 John Kemp. No letter from or to Kemp is in the Jefferson Papers. 



the Society for promoting the Arts, Agriculture, etc. — an English 
Work, with which you are doubtless acquainted. 

I will thank you to make my respects to Mr. Hillhouse, and my ac- 
knowledgements for his communications. I shall be much obliged by 
the communication of the more interesting speeches, and also of such 
Reports as contain valuable facts for preservation, as the Exports and 
Imports, etc. I have the honor to be, Sir, very respectfully your obe- 
dient servant. 1 

To [George Gibbs ?] 2 

New Haven, July 24, 1837. 

Dear Sir, — I have just received yours of the 29th ult, and tlie 
accompanying letters of Mr. Wolcott, and copies of certain letters of 
my own to Gov. Wolcott. 

I cheerfully consent to your publishing all the letters of mine, except 
that of September 17, 1800. The publication of that, at this time, 
would be premature, even if it should be proper ever to publish it. 
The sons of the persons alluded to are living, and if the letter should 
ever be published, I wish it not to be done at present. Indeed, I rather 
wish it to be suppressed or returned to me, during my life, as I am 
doubtful whether the opinions I expressed in regard to one Gentleman 
were correct. This doubt arises from facts which were not disclosed 
till after the date of the letter. 

I have Gov. Wolcott's letter to me, requesting my affidavit respecting 
Mr. Genet. This also contains some account of the fever then raging. 
If you have not a copy, dated Philadelphia, September 19, 1793, I am 
willing to send this to you. It seems to be proper that it should precede 
the affidavit. 

I have no recollection of the facts respecting Col. Pickering's vindi- 
cation, nor whether any was offered to the public. 

One thing I can affirm with confidence, that I have never known a 
man of more stern integrity, than Col. Pickering. In this respect I 
place him in the ranks of Gen. Washington and Gov. Jay. 

There are two sons of Col. Pickering living in Boston, both I believe, 
eminent jurists. 

As I have no transcripts of my own [letters I will] thank you to permit 
me to retain those [you have] sent me. 

I was an intimate friend, classmate, and for some months roommate 
with Gov r Wolcott. My acquaintance was of nearly sixty years dura- 

1 Pickering Papers, xxviii. 402. 

2 Editor of " Memoirs of the Administration of Washington and John 
Adams," 1846. The original of this letter is in the collection of Grenville H. 

1909.] LETTERS OF NOAH WEBSTER, 1786-1840. 155 

tion. I found him always frank and faithful in friendship, and generous 
to the extent of his means. He was in College a good scholar, though 
not brilliant. He possessed the firmness and the strong reasoning 
powers of the Wolcott family, but with some eccentricities in reasoning. 
During the interesting period of Gen. Washington's administration, we 
were generally united in political opinions, although I thought then and 
still think that some of the gentlemen at the head of affairs were too 
much afraid of French policy to permit them to show a proper spirit 
toward the invasion of our maritime rights and our commerce by Great 
Britain. Yet our situation presented great difficulties to the adminis- 
tration, and probably whatever was done, was on the whole, best for 
the country. I am, etc. 

P. S. It is probable that there may be among Gov. Wolcott's papers 
other letters of mine, but probably of no public importance. I wish 
not to have anything of mine published without my consent ; as I rarely 
have kept copies, so that I cannot recollect on what occasions I have 
written. In the Life of Gov. Jay, some letters of mine were published, 
without consulting me — a very reprehensible license. 1 

Excuse my scrawls — I cannot copy, and have no person to write for 

To Ebenezer Smith Thomas. 

New Haven, July 29, 1840. 
Mr. Thomas, 

I see in the sheets of your Reminiscences which you have been so 
good as to send for my perusal, that you have mentioned the electric 
effect which the oration of Mr. Hancock, March 5 1774, had upon the 
audience. This reminds me of an anecdote related to me by the late 
Judge Trumbull of this State. 

In the year 1774, Mr. Trumbull was a student of law in the office of 
John Adams. Mr. Hancock was, at that time a wavering character; 
at least he was so considered by the leading whigs of that day. It was 
a matter of no small importance to bring him to a decision, as to the 
part he was to take in the crisis then approaching. To effect this 
object, the more stanch leading whigs contrived to procure Mr. Han- 
cock to be appointed to deliver an oration on the anniversary of the 
Massacre ; and some of them wrote his oration for him or a consider- 
able part of it. This policy succeeded and Mr. Hancock became a 
firm supporter of the American cause. Judge Trumbull related to me 
these facts, as from his personal knowledge ; & no person will question 
his veracity. 

i Jay, Life of John Jay, n. 358, 421. 


I have another anecdote, derived from the late Hon. Nathan Strong 
of Hartford, and coming to me through the Hon. Elizur Goodrich. 

When the question of taking arms to resist the claims of Great 
Britain was to be decided in Connecticut, the legislature held a secret 
session, & debated a question the whole day. The result was in favor 
of resistance ; & it is said the most influential character in deciding 
the question was the Hon. Titus Hosmer, the father of the late Chief 
Justice Ilosmer of Middletown. 

I give you these anecdotes, as I have received them ; & if you deem 
them of any value, they are at your service. I am, Sir, etc. 1 

In submitting the first form or draught of Alexander 
Hamilton's report upon the constitutionality of a National 
Bank, Mr. Ford said : 

On February 16, 1791, Washington sent to Hamilton the 
objections raised on constitutional grounds, by Jefferson and 
Randolph, to an act recently passed by Congress and await- 
ing the signature of the President, for incorporating the sub- 
scribers to the Bank of the United States. One week later, 
on February 23, Hamilton laid before the President his com- 
pleted reply to the objections made against the measure, a 
measure which had been prepared by Hamilton himself, and 
in the success of which he was deeply interested. Washing- 
ton adopted his ideas, and the act became a law. 

The draught, now printed for the first time, is in the 
Hamilton Papers, in the Library of Congress. It shows 
many important differences in details, illustrations and ar- 
rangement from the final report, and offers not a little light 
upon the manner of Hamilton in preparing his state papers. 
It is incomplete, and is marked by many evidences of haste ; 
but it contains paragraphs which express in greater fulness 
than were published the grounds of his conclusions. To 
enable the reader to make a comparison with the final form, 

1 From Mr. Norcross's collection. It was printed in Thomas's " Reminis- 
cences of the Last Sixty-Five Years " (1840), n. 169, but is of sufficient curious 
interest to be included in this series of Webster letters. Thomas was a nephew 
of Isaiah Thomas, and seems to have possessed a share of the printer's love of 
personalities. In his book he states that " the then celebrated Rev. Dr. Cooper " 
wrote the Hancock oration, and adds, "but any man who ever heard Hancock 
address a public assembly, as I have, could not for a moment doubt his ability to 
write such an oration ; the object was, to get him committed, beyond the hope 
of pardon, and that oration did it completely." 


references are made to the " Writings of Alexander Hamil- 
ton'' edited by Henry Cabot Lodge. 

The Constitutionality of a National Bank. 

[February, 1791.] 

The Secretary" of the Treasury has perused with great attention the 
opinions of the Secretary of State and of the Attorney General con- 
cerning the constitutionality of the bill for establishing a National Bank 
and proceeds to execute the order of the President for submitting the 
reasons which have induced him to view the subject in a different light. 

It will naturally have been anticipated that in performing this task 
he must feel uncommon solicitude. Personal considerations alone, aris- 
ing from the reflection that the measure originated with him would be 
sufficient to produce it. The sense which he has manifested of the 
great importance of the institution to the successful administration of the 1 
department committed to his care, [and the serious and extensive con- 
sequences which he believes would attend the failure of the measure,] 2 
do not permit him to be without anxiety on public accounts. But his 
chief solicitude arises from a persuasion that if the principles of con- 
struction which regulate the opinions of the Secretary of State and the 
Attorney General should prevail, the just and indispensable authority 
of the United States must receive a deep and dangerous wound. The 
future operations of the government must be fatally clogged. And 
it must in the end find itself incapable of answering the purposes for 
which it has been instituted. 3 

It has often been regretted by the decided friends of an efficient 
national government that Congress in the early stages of the revolution 
exercised the powers entrusted to them, with too sparing and feeble a 
hand. It is earnestly to be hoped, after so much has been done for 
retrieving the prostrate affairs of the Union, that no similar cause of 
regret may be again furnished. 

It may be laid down as an incontrovertible position, 4 that all the 
powers contained in a constitution of Government, which concern the 
general administration of the affairs of a country, its finances, its trade, 
its defence, &c. ought to be construed liberally in advancement of the 
general good. This maxim does not depend on the particular form of 

1 At tliis point was written and stiuck out, " more particularly under his 
charge, the conviction which he entertains that its failure will materially retard 
the appreciation of the public debt and the use of public credit and will be 
an occasion." 

2 These words were written in the margin. 
8 Lodge, in. 180. 

* " Indisputable truth " was first written. 


the governrneut or on the particular delineation or demarkation of the 
boundaries of its powers, but on the condition of society, and on the 
nature and objects of government itself. The means by which national 
exigencies are to be satisfied, national inconveniences obviated, national 
prosperity promoted, are of such infinite variety, extent and complexity, 
that there must of necessity be great latitude of discretion in the selec- 
tion and application of those means. It is essential to the public good 
that the power of providing for it should be commensurate with the di- 
versity of circumstances by which it may be affected ; and consequently 
that the authorities confided to the government should be exercised on 
principles of liberal construction. 1 

The Attorney General, admitting the rule here laid down, takes a 
distinction between a state and the Fcoderal constitution, and thinks the 
latter ought to be construed with greater strictness because there is 
more danger of error in defining partial than general powers. 

But if the reason of the rule is adverted to, it must be concluded that 
this distinction cannot be admitted. That reason is founded on the 
variety and extent of public concerns and public exigencies ; a far 
greater proportion of which and of a far more critical and important 
kind are objects of National than of State administration. If 
therefore the supposition of greater danger of error be acceded to 
it could only operate as a prudential motive to caution in admin- 
istering the powers of the National government not as a principle 
of restrictive interpretation. 2 

It will be shewn hereafter that the rule above mentioned has gov- 
erned the various acts of Congress which have received the Sanction of 
the Chief Magistrate ; aud it is not to be doubted that every days ex- 
perience will evince it to be indispensable to the prosperous conduct of 
the affairs of the Union. 3 

Another position equally incontrovertible is this — that though the 
Government of the Union does not possess complete and intire sover- 
eignty in every respect, it nevertheless possesses sovereign powers [in 
a variety of respects,] 4 and these of a high and transcendent nature. 
Of these the most important are the power of taxation, 5 that of regu- 
lating commerce with foreign nations, between the several states and 
with the indian tribes, that of making war and as incidents to it of 
raising, supporting and governing armies and fleets, and that of making 

1 Much compressed in Lodge, ur. 181, 189. In the draught the following 
was inserted at this point, and struck out : " The only exception to this rule 
is of cases in which the security of private property and personal liberty is 

a Lodge, in. 190. 

8 This entire paragraph was struck out. 

4 Words inserted in the margin. 

5 " Indefinite power of taxation " was first written. 


treaties. If it were not evident that government and sovereignty applied 
to nations are convertible terras ; if the idea of sovereignty were not 
necessarily included in the powers which have been mentioned ; if it 
were requisite to confirm the position which has been advanced by 
proof, there is a clause in the constitution which would put the matter 
out of all doubt. It is that which declares that the Constitution, and 
the laws of the United States made in pursuance of it, and all treaties 
made or which shall be made under their authority shall be the Su- 
preme law of the Land. The power which can create the Supreme 
law of the land, in any case, is doubtless sovereign in relation to 
such case. 1 

The plain inference to be drawn from this position is this, that in 
carrying into execution the powers vested in the national Government, 
it has a right to employ all the means which are fairly and truly calcu- 
lated to effect the objects of those powers, in as full and ample a man- 
ner as can be done by any Government whatever ; or in other words it 
can do, in relation to those objects every thing which is not contrary 
to limitations and exceptions 2 specified in the constitution ; [or which is 
not in itself immoral or inconsistent with the ends of political society. 3 

This idea enters into the very definition of sovereignty or govern- 
ment ; and though that of the United States caunot do all that some 
other governments can do, it can do all that any other government can 
do in relation to the objects entrusted to its management ; except so far 
as there may be specified restrictions.] 4 

If this be not the true rule there is then no rule at all. It must be- 
come impossible to determine what can or cannot be constitutionally 
done. The legality of the means to be made use of in each case must 
be a subject of vague and endless controversy ; in which caprice and 
prejudice must have much greater influence than reason or principle. 

To urge as an objection to this that " all powers not delegated to the 
U. S. by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states are reserved 
to the States or to the People " is to do nothing. This is only saying 
in another form that the United States 5 possess no powers not dele- 
gated to them ; a position alike applicable to all popular constitutions 
of Government and to that of each state equally with that of the Union. 
It resolves itself into this general 6 maxim that all government is a 
delegation of power. How much is delegated in any case is always 

i Lodge, in. 182. 

2 " Implied in the idea of sovereign power (authority), subject only to the" 
was first written. 

3 " Subversive of the personal rights " was first written. 

4 Written in the margin. 

5 The word " Congress " was first used. 

6 " Fundamental maxim of republican liberty " was first written. 


a question of fact to be determined by the particular provisions of a 
constitution and by fair construction upon those provisions. 1 

It certainly will not be pretended that the proposition which has 
been quoted was designed to exclude the doctrine of implied powers. 
There is nothing in the manner of expression which indicates such a 
meaning and it is known that it was not the intention of it. 

Hence no inference can be drawn from it against the position which 
has been deduced from the nature of sovereign power. 2 

To say that such things only may lawfully be done as are " necessary 
and proper" amounts to nothing. This is in truth only to say that all 
requisite and fit means may be employed ; which brings the matter 
precisely to the issue of a right to do whatever is fairly and truly calcu- 
lated to effect the objects of the powers vested in the government. 

The Secretary of State has annexed a more strict sense to the word 
necessary which he considers as restricting the government to the em- 
ployment of those means without which " the grant of the power would 
be nugatory." In this however, he is neither warranted by the gram- 
matical nor popular meaning of the word, nor by considerations of 
political expediency, nor by the most obvious import of the clause 
which contains the expression, nor by the practice of the Government 
upon it. 

Not by the grammatical sense, because this, in many, and in relation 
to political subjects, in most cases establishes the word necessary as 
equivalent only to requisite or needful or conducive to. 3 Thus if it 
should be observed "that it is necessary to Great Britain to maintain a 
good understanding with Holland" 4 this would only mean that the 
maintenance of that good understanding is a thing useful to her or con- 
ducive to her interests. It would not signify that it is essential or in- 
dispensable or absolutely requisite ; [or a thing without which she could 
not exist or prosper as a nation.] 5 

Neither does such a signification accord with the popular use of the 
term. A man will say for instance " It is necessary that I should 
breakfast before I go to business." This would not mean that he could 
not do business without having first breakfasted ; but merely that his 
habits are such as to render it inconvenient to him to enter upon the 
business of the day before he has made that meal. 

Considerations of political expediency do not favour such a construc- 
tion ; because it tends to create a disability in the government to pursue 
measures which though highly useful may not be absolutely essential ; 

i Lodge, in. 183, 184. 

2 These three paragraphs were an insertion. 

8 " A particular end " followed, and was struck out. — Lodge, in. 187. 

4 " France to maintain her connection with Spain " was first used. 

6 Words written in the margin. 


and of course abridges its power of doing good even in reference to the 
objects which are particularly confided to it. 1 

It must ever be a matter of infinite uncertainty when a measure is 
necessary in the sense in which the word is understood by the Secretary 
of State. Many very intelligent men have contended that all regula- 
tions of trade are pernicious. There are many in this country who now 
maintain that all extra burthens 2 

That construction does not consist with the most obvious import of 
the clause containing the expression. No person who should read it 
without an eye to any particular question that might give a byass to his 
judgment, but would be inclined to infer that it was intended to give 
latitude to the enumerated powers rather than to confine their operation. 
Placed at the end of them it is couched in these comprehensive terms : 
"To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying 
into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by 
the constitution in the government of the United States or in any depart- 
ment or office thereof." 3 The turn of the expressions as well as the 
familiar and popular sense of the words forbids a restrictive interpretation. 

If it were proper to go out of the instrument into what passed in the 
course of the debates in the Convention , or even to resort to the min- 
utes of that body, ample confirmation would be found of the sense 4 here 
contended for. But a recourse of that kind is not admissible. Nor can 
it be requisite. The clause itself speaks a language not easily to be mis- 
taken. It is evidently designed to place on an unequivocal footing the 
power of the government to employ all the means fairly relative to the 
execution of its specified powers and to the fulfilment of the objects 5 
entrusted to its direction. 6 

The Attorney General indeed concedes that no such restrictive effect 
ought to be ascribed to the clause ; and defines the word necessary thus — 
" To be necessary is to be incidental, or in other words may be denomi- 
nated the natural means of executing a power." 6 

Inspection As on the one hand the sense put upon the clause by 

laws the Secretary of State cannot be admitted to be just 7 

The practice of the government has contradicted such an interpreta- 
tion. The act for the establishment and support of light houses, beacons, 
buoys and public piers may be cited as an example. This doubtless must 

1 The consideration of Jefferson's objection was compressed in the final form. 
— Lodge, in. 186, 187. 

2 This paragraph was not completed and was struck out. See p. 162, post. 

3 Lodge, in. 187. 

4 " Reasoning " was first used. 

5 "Most prosperous conduct of the affairs " was first written. 

6 These paragraphs were struck out. The second reappears later. The last- 
paragraph is in Lodge, in. 190. See p. 162, post. 

7 This unfinished paragraph was struck out. 



be referred to the power which respects the regulation of trade and 
it is certainly fairly relative to it. But it cannot be affirmed that 
it was absolutely necessary that provision should be made for this object 
by the National Government, or that the interests of Trade would have 
essentially suffered if it had been left upon its former footing; [or that 
the power of regulating trade would be nugatory without that of regu- 
lating establishments of this nature.] * All that can be said is that as 
such establishments relate to and are useful to trade, they were a proper 
object of the care of that authority which is charged with the trust of 
promoting its interests. 

To affix the sense advocated by the Secretary of State to the word 
necessary would lead to infinite uncertainty. There are persons who 
maintain for instance that all regulations of Trade are pernicious. There 
are others who are of opinion that immunities which have been granted 
to certain branches of trade and the restraints which have been laid 
upon others are hurtful to the general interests of commerce. There 
are wide differences of opinion about the measures which are or are 
not necessary and proper to promote the navigation of this country. 
How shall it be determined what is strictly necessary? because it seems 
nothing else is to be supposed to be included in the power to regulate 

Nothing can better shew the fallacy of the doctrine espoused by the 
Secretary of State than some of the arguments which he makes use of 
to enforce it. One of these is that there are existing banks in some 
of the states which may serve the purposes of a National Bank, and 
therefore render the establishment of one unnecessary. Here the con- 
stitutional right of exercising a power is made to depend on certain 
arrangements which happen to have been made by particular states 
and which ere long may disappear. 2 Surely the rights and powers 
of a government cannot depend upon such fortuitous, casual and 
foreign circumstances. Surely a right to establish a Bank 8 which 
does not exist today, because institutions of that kind in which the 
Government has had no agency happen to exist, cannot be created 
tomorrow by their disappearance. Surely therefore a principle which 
turns on such an argument can not be just. [Take in here what relates 
to manner of construing Constitution. 4 ] 

The Attorney General indeed concedes that no restrictive operation 
is to be ascribed to the word necessary. He defines it thus : " To 
be necessary is to be incidental, and may be denominated the natural 
means of executing a power." 6 

i These words were written in the margin. — Lodge, ill. 189. 

2 Lodge, in. 186, 187. 

3 " Cannot be less inherent in a Government " followed and was struck out. 

4 Words written in the margin. 

5 Lodge, in. 190. It is repeated on p. 161, ante. 


But while on the one hand the construction of the Secretary of State 
cannot be allowed, it will not be contended on the other that the clause 
in question confers any new or substantive power. It is conceived to 
have been only intended to obviate the embarrassments which had been 
experienced under the confederation from the clause declaring 1 and 
to give an express sanction to the exercise of implied powers fairly 
incidental or relative to the declared ones. This, however, it is con- 
ceived, is equivalent to an admission of the proposition that the Gov- 
ernment as to its specified objects where no restrictions are annexed to 
them has sovereign and plenary authority in some cases paramount to 
that of the states, in others coordinate with it. Indeed as has been 
remarked this principle seems inseparable from the idea of a legislative 
or sovereign power. 

It is no valid objection to this principle to say that it might lead to an 
extension of the powers of the general government throughout the intire 
sphere of state legislation. The same thing has been said and may as 
justly be said with regard to every exercise of power by implication or 
construction. TVherever the literal meaning is departed from there is 
a chance of error and abuse. And yet an adherence to the letter of its 
powers would speedily arrest the motion of the government and destroy 
its utility. It is agreed on all hands that the exercise of implied or con- 
structive powers is indispensable. Every act that has been past is more 
or less an exemplification of it. That which declares the Power of the 
President to remove officers at pleasure is a signal one. 2 

The truth is that difficulties on this point are inherent in the nature 
of the National Constitution which is founded on a division of the leg- 
islative power assigning certain portions of sovereignty to the Union 
and leaving the rest with the particular members. The consequence 
of this will be that there will be some cases clearly within the power of 
the National government, such as the right to lay duties on imported 
articles, some clearly not within its power, such as a provision to convey 
water by pipes through the city of Philadelphia for the accommodation 
of its inhabitants, which is a matter purely local ; and there are others 
which will admit of room for dispute and difference of sentiment and in 
regard to which a reasonable discretion must be exercised. 3 

The position which has been stated does not assert that the National 
Government is sovereign in all respects, but that it has sovereign power 
to a certain extent ; that is, as far as its specified objects extend. 4 

There is therefore always a criterion of what is constitutional and 
what is not constitutional. This criterion is the end to which the 
measure relates as a mean. If the end is one clearly entrusted to the 

1 An unfinished sentence. The preceding paragraph, somewhat changed, is 
in Lodge, in. 190, 191. 

2 Lodge, in. 191 ; 3 191, 192 ; 4 192. 


National Govern 1 ; and if the measure has any obvious reference to 
that end, and is not forbidden by any particular provision of the con- 
stitution, it may be deemed to be within the compass of the National 
authority. These are also these criteria which ought to have weight 
in the decision : Does the proposed measure abridge a pre- 

XS ft D V St<ltG 

competent existing right of any state or of any individual ? If this 
to doing question can be answered in the negative, it will always 
what is pro- afford a strong presumption in favour of the constitution- 
posed to be a ]Jty f ti ie thing, and slighter relations to any declared ob- 
ject of the constitution may be permitted to turn the scale. 1 

The objectors to this rule which has been stated may be confidently 
asked what other can be adopted? What is there in the nature of 
things to render the declared powers in the national constitution less 
sovereign than the powers in the state constitutions ? What are the 
characteristics which distinguish the means that sovereign or legislative 
power may employ to attain an end within its acknowledged province 
from those which it may not employ ? 

It is observable that both the Secretary of State and the Attorney 
General build their objections wholly upon a supposed inability in the 
National government to erect a Corporation ; and this not in the par- 
ticular case only but in every case whatever. Iudeed the Attorney 
General acknowledges " that if any part of the bill does either encoun- 
ter the constitution or is not warranted by it, the clause of the Corpora- 
tion is the only one." 2 

How it has come to pass that the power of erecting corporations has 
been conceived to be of so peculiar or transcendent a nature, as to form 
an implied exception to every power granted to the United States and 
in every case, is not easy to be conjectured and remaius unexplained. 
Why it should not be as much as incident to legislative anthority to 
erect a corporation, if a necessary and proper, or a requisite and fit 
mean to a given end, as to do any other thing, is, to say the best of it, 
not obvious. 

Congress for example have' power to regulate Trade with foreign 
nations. This power is not supposed to be confined merely to the 
prescribing of rules for the orderly conducting of Commerce between 
the United States and other Countries ; but it is agreed on all hands to 
extend to the adoption of proper measures for the advancement of 
Navigation and foreign commerce. To this end are various regulations 
in the revenue laws that have been passed. Let it be supposed that it 
were demonstrable that there was an opportunity for opening a particu- 
lar branch of Trade with some foreign country, which would be highly 
beneficial to the United States ; but that in order to entering upon it, 

i Lodge, III. 192 ; a 180. 


it was absolutely necessary there should be a union of the capitals of a 
number of Individuals ; and that in order to engage proper persons to 
embark on it it was equally necessary that they should be incorporated 
and should for a time be permitted to enjoy certain peculiar privileges 
and exemptions — in such a state of things as this, can there be any 
reasonable ground of doubt that it would be within the compass of the 
general power of regulating commerce with foreign nations to erect 
such a corporation and to grant to it the requisite privileges and im- 
munities ? It is apprehended that there cannot be any such ground of 
doubt. 1 

It would not be a good answer to say that such a case cannot be 
supposed. It is certainly a possible one. It has been believed to exist 
in other countries, and has produced institutions of the kind contem- 
plated which remain to this day. The possibility of it is enough for 
the argument. It would doubtless be expedient to be well assured 
that the circumstances were such as to require and justify it; but this 
would be a mere question of expediency not of right or power. 

As far as the sense of the different state Conventions can be sup- 
posed to have weight in the question it will appear that there was a 
prevalent idea that Congress had power to erect trading companies or 
corporations. Hence is found among the amendments proposed by 
them generally a clause to this effect, " That Congress shall not grant 
monopolies nor erect any company with exclusive advantages of com- 
merce " ; thus tacitly admitting the power of Congress to erect such 
Corporations or companies, and objecting no further than to the grant 
of exclusive privileges. 

The existence of such a power is indeed a natural and obvious infer- 
ence from that of regulating Trade. 

Neither the Origin of the power of erecting corporations nor the 
practice respecting it in the country from which we have borrowed our 
notions of it are of a nature to warrant the conclusion that it is of so 
preeminent a nature as to lie beyond the reach of the powers of the 
United States. 

Its origin is traced to the Roman empire where a voluntary associa- 
tion of individuals was alone sufficient to produce a Corporation. In 
England the power of erecting corporations forms a part of the execu- 
tive authority, [and the exercise of it may even be delegated to that 
Authority to other purposes.] 2 Certainly then there is something not 
a little forced in the supposition that the whole Legislative power of 
the Union is unequal to incapable of it. 3 

The Secretary of State asserts indefinitely that the power of erecting 

1 Much compressed and altered in Lodge, in. 185, 220. 

2 These words are written in the margin. 

8 Neither term is cancelled in the ms. — Lodge, in. 186. 


corporations remains exclusively with the states; but he certainly has 
not proved it. The arguments already adduced are sufficient, it is 
presumed, to shew that this is at least a very questionable position. 
But that it is not true in the extent in which [it] is advanced may be 
reduced to precise demonstration. And it is not doubted that in the 
progress of the investigation the contrary of it will appear more and 
more clearly. 

Congress are empowered " to exercise exclusive legislation in all 
cases whatsoever over the district which shall become the seat of the 
Government of the United States and over all places purchased for the 
erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock yards and other needful 
buildings." By what process of reasoning can it be made a doubt that 
a power of exercising exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever must 
include that of erecting a corporation within the limits which are 
embraced by it? There can be none. 

Here then are cases in which it is certain that Congress may erect cor- 
porations. And if a direct power of instituting a Bank in other places 
is denied to the government, it has only to establish one at some place 
[over] which it may have acquired exclusive jurisdiction and the matter 
may be so managed as to have the administration of it where it shall be 
found most convenient. Doctrines which lead to consequences like 
these are at least to be suspected of error. 1 

There is indeed a case in which Congress have exercised the power 
of erecting a Corporation and that one of the most important kind ; one 
not less important than the establishment of a Government. The "Act 
for the Government of the Territory of the United States south of the 
River Ohio " is here alluded to. 2 A constitution of Government is a 
corporation of the highest nature, and that act establishes one ; pro- 
ceeding as is supposed upon 

If then it ought to be admitted that the Gov. of the United States 
has the power of erecting Corporations in cases relative to the objects 
entrusted to it, it remains to see 8 

the 2d. Clause of the 3d Section of the Constitution, which declares 
that Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules 
and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to 
the United States. 

Let it now be seen what are the objections to the power of erecting 
corporations generally. 

The sum of them as respects the Secretary of State seems to be that 

1 "Embraced with caution " was first written. — Lodge, III. 198. 

2 Lodge, in. 20G. 

8 These linos are struck out. It would appear that the preceding paragraph 
originally ended with the words " establishes one," and what followed was an 


they contain capacities, properties or attributes ; which are against the 
law of mortmain, against the laws of Alienage, against the law of 
descents, against the laws of forfeiture and escheat, against the law of 
distribution ; and, as respects the particular institution contemplated, 
against the laws of Monopoly. And it is added to the rest that a power 
is given to make laws paramount to the laws of the States. Nothing 
but a necessity invincible by other means can justify, it is said, such a 
prostration of laws which constitute the pillars of our whole system of 
jurisprudence, and are the foundation laws of the State Governments. 1 

Let it be seen, how far these observations are correct, and what 
force they have. 

The power of erecting Corporations is nothing more than that of 
giving individuality to a number of persons. When once this indi- 
viduality is created, the Common law of every state annexes to it those 
incidents which produce the effects abovementioned as far as they 
really exist. It establishes that Aliens in the artificial capacity thereby 
created may hold lands, notwithstanding the laws of Alienage ; that 
the lands shall be transmitted to the successors of the first corporators 
in the same capacity, not to the heirs of the individuals, notwithstand- 
ing the laws of descents ; that the corporate property in case of the 
dissolution of the corporation shall revert to the donor, not to the 
sovereign, as in the case of a failure of heirs of private persons, not- 
withstanding the law of escheat ; and that it shall not be forfeited for 
the crimes of the individual members, notwithstanding the laws of 
forfeitures. 2 All these circumstances too are mere consequences of 
the creation of an artificial person. The distinction between citizen 
and alien can only apply between real persons. Such an artificial 
person may have successors but can have no heirs ; therefore the laws 
of descent cannot reach it, and, for the same reason, it is equally out of 
the reach of the law of escheat which relates wholly to a failure of 
heirs. An artificial person cannot commit a crime ; therefore its 
property cannot be liable to forfeiture. 

This shews that it is inaccurate to say that the erection of a corpora- 
tion is against those different heads of the state laws. It is in fact only 
to create a certain Artificial or legal entity, to which the law of every 
state itself, annexes an exemption from the operation of the rules that 
fall under these heads, as being inapplicable to it. It is only to put a 
certain number of individuals with their own consent in a situation 
which subjects their property to a different regulation from that which 
would attend it if they had not consented to enter into this state. 

But if the thing were not truly to be viewed in this right, if the 
creation of a corporation were really against those different heads 

1 Lodge, in. 192, 193 ; 2 194. 


of the state laws, if it really made an alteration in them or the 
particulars which have been mentioned, what would be the con- 
sequence of all this ? Is it meant to be maintained that Congress can 
make alterations in DO case in the state laws. If this is intended all the 
powers of the national government become nugatory. For almost every 
new law must be an alteration in some way or other of some other law 
either common or statute. 1 

There are laws concerning bankruptcy in several states. Several 
states have laws concerning the values of foreign coins. Congress are 
empowered to establish uniform laws concerning bankruptcy throughout 
the United States and to regulate the value of foreign coin. The ex- 
ercise of either of these powers, by Congress, necessarily involves au 
alteration of the laws of those states; and in respect to bankruptcies 
in cases that affect real property and involve penalties of the highest 
nature. 1 

Again every person by the common law of each state may now export 
his property to foreign countries at pleasure. But Congress may without 
doubt in pursuance of the power of regulating Trade prohibit the ex- 
portation of commodities ; in doing which they would certainly alter the 
common law of each state in abridgment of individual rights. 2 

This being the case it can never be good reasoning to say, the doing 
of this or that act is unconstitutional because it alters this or that law of 
the states. It must always be shewn that the thing which makes the 
alteration is unconstitutional in its own nature, not because it makes 
the alteration. 3 Hence an argument which makes that circumstance 
an objection to the constitutional right of exercising any power must 
be rejected. 

Two things are advanced by the Secretary of State which are pecu- 
liarly incorrect. These are that the proposed incorporation is against 
the laws of monopoly and that power is given by it to make laws para- 
mount to the laws of the states. As to the first the only part of the bill 
which can give colour to the suggestion is that which stipulates that the 
U. States will not erect any similar institution or grant similar privileges 
to any other. But does this prohibit any state from erecting itself a 
bank ? Does it even prohibit any number of individuals from associating 
themselves to carry on the banking business ? It does neither and con* 
sequently is altogether free from the charge of establishing a monopoly. 
The supposition of a consequential interference with the Banks of other 
states if founded would not make good a charge. For Monopoly implies 
a legal impediment to the carrying on of the Trade by others than those 
to whom it is granted. 4 Such an interference indeed might tend to 

1 Lodge, in. 194 ; 2 194, 195; « 195. 

4 Lodge, in. 195. "That supposition however would be a forced one " fol- 
lowed in the ms., but was struck out. 


prevent rather than to create monopoly by dividing the business ; 
but whether any competition in this way will exist is altogether 

The idea of the Corporation having power to make laws paramount 
to those of the states is still less colourable. Its bye laws or regulations 
from the nature of the institution can operate only upon its own mem- 
bers, can relate only to the disposition of its own property and will es- 
sentially resemble the private rules of a mercantile partnership. They 
are expressly not to be contrary to law, and law here must necessarily 
mean the law of each state as well as of the U. States so far as the 
former does not improperly contravene the latter. If there should be 
a repugnancy between any state law and that of the United States the 
Courts, as in every similar case, must decide on their respective validity. 
There may be questions between an interfering law of a state and that 
of the U. States, but there can be none between a law of a state and 
a law of the Corporation. 1 

The Arguments of the Attorney General against a power of incor- 
poration in the National Government generally are to this effect. 2 

First, that it is not expressly given to Congress. 

This is admitted. There is no clause of the constitution declaring in 
express terms that Congress may make corporations. 

It was said upon this point in argument in the House of Representa- 
tives, that if a power of so transcendent a nature was meant to be 
conferred upon Congress it would have been expressly mentioned. 3 

But this idea of the transcendent nature of the power is all exaggera- 
tion. It has been seen that it is only to give individuality to a number 
of persons voluntarily associated for a particular purpose or to substitute 
an artificial to a natural capacity person.^ It has been seen that in its 
origin a voluntary association of Individuals was capable of producing 
the effect without the help of a particular act of law. And that in 
England it is a part of the Executive authority. 

The erection of a Corporation is plainly then one of those incidental 
things, one of those ordinary operations of legislation, one of those 
mere means to an end, which was best left to be implied as an ingredi- 
ent in a general power. Particularly as there might exist prejudices 
on the point. And it was not prudent to encounter any by unnecessary 

Perhaps the best definition that can be given of a Corporation is this. 
It is a legal person, or a person created by act of law, consisting of one 
or more natural persons impowered to hold property or a franchise in 
succession in a legal as contradistinguished from a natural capacity. 
According to this definition, if the United States should declare that 

1 Lodge, in. 196 ; 2 197 ; 3 199. 
* Both terms are retained in the MS. 



all bonds for duties should be given to the Collector of each district by 
the name of the Collector of the District of A or IS, and that every 
such bond should enure to such Collector and his successors in ojjice in 
trust for the U. States, this would be to constitute a Corporation in 
each district ; l and it is presumed, that if it had been proposed to put 
the Collector of the duties in this trair, however the expediency of it 
might be called in question, the constitutional right of doing it would 
never have been disputed. 2 

A still plainer case is this. Congress are empowered to establish 
post roads. Let it be supposed that it were to be resolved to establish 
a turn pike road through the United States under the direction of certain 
commissioners by a certain denomination to be appointed as other offi- 
cers are ; and that certain funds, including a portion of Western lands 
should be vested in them and their successors in office to be disposed of 
for the purpose of defraying the expences of making this road — this cer- 
tainly would be a corporation ; and can it be doubted that it is within 
the constitutional power of Congress to make such an arrangement. 
It is repeated that the expediency of doing it or not doing it is never a 
test of constitutional right ; for the consequence of such a principle 
would be that every inexpedient or injudicious measure which a 
government may adopt is unconstitutional] an absurdity of the first 
magnitude. 2 

Again : The Western lands are pledged as a fund to sink the public 
debt. Suppose in order to render the application of the fund still 
more inviolable, by giving it the character and sanction of private 
property as has been repeatedly proposed by able men in Great Britain, 
and if rightly recollected, practiced upon in a late instance, it had been 
judged expedient by Congress to vest those lands in certain commis- 
sioners to be appointed as other officers, and in their successors in office 
to be disposed of and the proceeds applied to the redemption of the 
public debt, could any objection have been made to the constitutionality 
of the measure ? Certainly none, probably none would have even been 
thought of from the obvious futility of it. And yet here would have 
been most manifestly a corporation. 2 

Instances of a similar kind may be multiplied without number in 
which a natural construction of the powers of Congress would authorise 
the erection of Corporations as very simple means to the specified ends 
of the governm 1 . 2 

This is not an improper place to take notice of an observation made 
by the Secretary of State concerning the proposition in the Convention 

1 Lodge, in. 219. 

2 These four paragraphs were written on the margins of five of the ms. 


to insert specifically a power to make Corporations, which he uses 
specifically against the power. 

What the precise nature or extent of the proposition was, or what 
the reasons for refusing it, is not ascertained by any authentic docu- 
ment. As far as any such document exists it only specifies canals. 
The recollections of individuals do not correspond either as to the 
import of the proposition, or the reasons for not adopting it. Some 
alfirm that there was objection to granting power to erect corpora- 
tions ; others that it was thought unnecessary as being incidental to the 
powers granted and inexpedient to be specified as involving a new topic 
of objection ; others that the purposes of it, being canals and obstruc- 
tions in rivers, were thought irrelative to foederal regulation. Thus 
stands the manner, and certainly in this situation there is no inference 
to be drawn from the fact. 1 

The Secretary of State also knows, that whatever may have been 
the true state of that fact it is of no. weight in the question, that 
whatever may have been the intention of the framers of a Constitution, 
or of a law, that intention must be sought for in the instrument itself, 
and must be determined by general principles of construction applied 
to the tenor and objects of such instrument. Nothing is more com- 
mon] than for laws to express and effect more or less than was in- 
tended. If then a power to erect corporations is deducible by fair 
inference from the whole or any part of the constitution of the United 
States, arguments drawn from extrinsic circumstances regarding the 
intention of the Convention must be rejected. 2 

The power of making corporations not being expressly granted, the 
Attorney General proceeds to infer that it can only exist from one of 
three causes : 

1. Because the nature of the Falderal Government implies it ; or 

2. Because it is involved in some of the specified powers of legisla- 
tion ; or 

3dly. Because it is necessary and proper to carry into execution 
some of the specified powers. 

With regard to the first he argues that to be implied in the nature 
of the Foederal Government would beget a doctrine so indefinite as to 
grasp every power. 3 

Let it be remarked in the first place, that neither of these proposi- 
tions is precisely or substantially that which is relied upon here. This 
is that the right of erecting corporations is incident to sovereign power, 
not to the particular nature of the Foederal Government. None of the 
reasonings of the Attorney General do therefore reach this proposition. 4 

But let it be supposed that he would consider the two propositions 
in the same light and that the answer which has been stated as given 

i Lodge, in. 196, 197 ; 2 197 ; 3 199, 200; * 200, 201. 


to the one is to be applied to the other. Then the answer to that is, 
that it is not true that the Doctrine would he so indefinite as to grasp 
every power. Because the qualification which has [been] stated to the 
Doctrine is that it must be in relation to the objects confided to the govern- 
ment. A general legislative power includes a power to erect corpora- 
tions in all cases where they shall appear necessary or expedient to the 
legislature. A legislative power as to certain objects includes a power 
only to erect corporations in relation to those objects, not in relation to 
other objects. And therefore to contend that the legislative power of 
the U. States extends to the erection of Corporations in relation to the 
objects of the Fccderal Government does not imply a claim that it shall 
extend to things not relative to the objects of that Government. Thus 
a power to erect a corporation relative to Trade is not a power to erect 
one relatively to Religion. The first is a declared and leading object 
of the Regulation of the Fcederal Government. The last it has no 
power concerning. 1 

The object therefore is in every case as already remarked to test and 
characterise the proper exercise of the power. As reasonably might it 
be argued that a right to prescribe penalties for a breach of the laws of 
Trade is a right to prescribe penalties for violations of the laws of 

The Attorney General after combating the first proposition relatively 
to the nature of the Fcederal Government which has been just examined 
in its true sense proceeds next to shew that the power of erecting cor- 
porations is not involved in any of the specified powers of legislation. 2 

In order to accomplish this, he makes an enumeration of the particu- 
lars which in his opinion^ for so only it must be considered, are compre- 
hended in several of the principal general powers ; and excluding from 
this enumeration the very particular in controversy as well as many others 
that may be imagined and many more that no imagination can antici- 
pate and that occasions only can suggest he fairly begs the question. 

It is not meant to represent this as intentional. It is a natural con- 
sequence of attempting to try a general power which always includes an 
infinite number of particulars by a precise enumeration. 3 Every such 
enumeration must be more or less imperfect ; because the human im- 
agination is inadequate to the detail. [Even every particular that may 
be specified must be in itself a general that must include a vast variety 
of other particulars. The intent of this enumeration is doubtless to shew 
what is contained in each power and then to infer that the power of 
incorporation not corresponding with either of the specified particulars 
does not exist. The force of this conclusion must depend on the accu- 
racy of the enumeration. The pointing out of inaccuracies and defects 

i Lodge, in. 200, 201 ; 2 201. 

8 " Try a power by a fallacious test" was first written. 


must therefore destroy it.] x It was from a Conviction of this very dif- 
ficulty that the Convention forebore to attempt such a specification. 

A critical examination of the detail into which he enters would in- 
volve too voluminous a discussion. It will suffice to state certain pal- 
pable defects and omissions, some not equally palpable or certain but still 
probable ones. In the course of this to corroborate but [in] some new 
and particular view, the more general doctrines which have been 

The first power descanted upon is that of laying and collecting Taxes, 
which indeed is the most accurately sub-divided. 

One subdivision of it is "to prescribe the mode of Collection," an 
immense Chapter which involves a variety of details and among others 
the very thing in question. It includes the establishment of districts 
and ports ; the creation of officers and the appointment of their duties, 
powers and legal capacities ; modes of proceeding ; exemptions, penal- 
ties, modes of prosecution and recovery ; species of money in which the 
taxes are to be paid. And it may legally include the erection of a cor- 
poration charged with the Collection, upon certain conditions stipulated 
between the Government and them. 

It has been already noted in what manner the Officers of the customs 
might be made a Corporation for the purposes of taking bonds and re- 
ceiving the monies payable upon them. It shall be explained in another 
place how far the power of establishing the species of money in which 
the taxes shall be paid is connected with the institution of a Bank. It 
shall now be shewn that by a fair construction of the power of laying 
and collecting taxes a corporation may be instituted charged with the 
collection upon certain conditions stipulated with the Government. 

It is a common practice in some countries and has been practiced in 
this, to farm particular taxes. This is to sell or mortgage the product 
of them to an individual or company for a certain specified sum, leaving 
the collection of it to that individual or company. Let it be supposed 
that it was manifest, that this mode of proceeding was in any case the 
most eligible to the government in the view of revenue, and equally 
convenient and safe for the citizens. Let it also be supposed that a 
number of individuals were disposed to undertake the matter upon con- 
dition of being incorporated. An incorporation, if a number of persons 
were concerned, would be a natural and a necessary ingredient in the 
arrangement. For it would be essential to the security of the under- 
takers that the property in the fund should be definitively vested in 
them and that they should have an easy method of recovering and man- 
aging the taxes, to which a corporate capacity would be indispensable. 
It must be extremely difficult to assign a reason why Congress might 

1 These words are written in the margin. — Lodge, m. 201. 


not adopt this mode of Collection as well as any other, and might not 
as a necessary ingredient in it incorporate the undertakers. It would 
not be doubted that this might be constitutionally done by another 
government and why not by that of the United States which has as 
plenary a power of taxation as any in the world except with respect to 
duties on exports with these two qualifications shall all duties * that 
direct shall be apportioned according to a certain ratio of population. 2 

The next specification of particulars relates to the power of borrowing 
money, and is materially defective. It confines that power to three 
points — the stipulation of a sum to be lent, of an interest or no interest 
to be paid, and of the time and manner of repayment. 8 

A palpable omission strikes the eye at once, the pledging or mortgaging 
of a fund for the security of the money lent. Here is a common and in 
most cases an essential requisite which is overlooked. 4 

The idea of the stipulation of an interest or no interest is too confined. 
The phrase should have been to stipulate the consideration of the loan. 
Individuals often borrow upon considerations different from the payment 
of interest, sometimes in addition to it, sometimes independent of it. So 
may governments, and so they often find it necessary to do. P>ery 
one recollects the lottery tickets and other douceurs often given in 
Great Britain as collateral inducements to the lending of money to the 
government. 5 

There are also frequently collateral conditions not falling within any 
of the enumerated particulars. Every Contract for monies borrowed 
in Holland stipulates, that the sum due shall be free from all taxes and 
from sequestration in time of war, and mortgages all the lands and 
property of the United States for the reimbursement. 5 

It is also known that a lottery is a very common expedient for bor- 
rowing money, which is certainly not included under either of the 
specified heads. 5 

These things are mentioned to shew the defectiveness of the specifi- 
cation and that any argument built upon them against the power of 
erecting a corporation must be unfounded. It is reserved in the 
sequel to shew the relation between this power and the institution 
of a bank. 

The enumeration respecting the power of regulating trade is still 
more defective and inconclusive. 5 

Here is a total, omission of every thing that regards the Citizens of the 
United States, their vessels and Merchandize. 6 

1. The power of prohibiting the exportation of domestic commodities 
of which there cannot be a shadow of doubt, and which in time of 
war it would be necessary to exercise, sometimes temporarily in the 

1 Hamilton doubtless intended to strike out these last three words. 

2 Lodge, in. 219, 220; 3 2 01 ; * 201, 202 ; 5 202 ; 6 202, 203. 


shape of an embargo, sometimes altogether, as with reference to naval 
and other warlike stores which might be wanted at home. 1 

2. The prescribing rules concerning the characteristics and privileges 
of an American bottom and the manner in which she shall be navigated, 
as to the composition of her Commander and Crew, what proportion of 
Citizens to foreigners. 1 

8. The prescribing of regulations concerning the contracting with 
seamen, the police of ships on their voyages, etc, as by the " Act for the 
Government and regulation of seamen in the Merchants service. 1 

4. The granting of bounties to certain species of vessels and certain 
kinds of Merchandise. This has been actually done in respect to dried 
and pickled fish and salted provision. 1 

There are other things which occur that appear to be within the 
power of regulating trade, though not as certainly as those which have 
been mentioned. These are : 

1. The prescribing rules for the Inspection of commodities to be 
exported. Though the states individually are competent to this there 
appears no reason in point of authority why a general system might not 
be adopted for the United States. 1 

2. The regulation of policies of Insurance. 1 

3. The prohibition of wearing as well as importing foreign com- 

4. The Regulation of salvage upon goods found at sea. 

5. The Regulation of pilots. 2 

6. The Regulation of Bills of Exchange drawn by a Merchant in 
one State upon a Merchant in another. 2 

Hence as seen the imperfection of the enumeration under the second 
head and the impossibility of deducing from it any argument against 
the power of incorporation contended for, which leaves in full force the 
arguments that have been offered to shew that it exists particularly in 
relation to Trading Companies, which therefore ought to be classed as 
one of the particulars comprehended in the power of regulating Trade. 
The relation which it has to a Bank in particular is reserved to future 

The last specification relates to that clause which empowers Congress 
to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the 
territory or other property belonging to the U. States. 

The remarks here will relate less to the defectiveness in the enumer- 
ation of particulars than to some errors of reasoning. 

The institution of a Government in the Western Territory is admitted 
to belong to this head of the powers of the Fcederal Government. 
Now to admit the right of instituting a Government, and to deny that 
of erecting a corporation appears to be a contradiction in terms. For 

i Lodge, in. 203 ; 2 204. 


a Government, as already remarked, is a Corporation of the highest 
nature. It is a Corporation which can itself create other corporations. 

How it could he imagined that the National Legislature could insti- 
tute a government in the Western Territory, and could not erect a 
corporation for clearing obstructions in the Rivers which run through 
it, or for any other purpose there, confounds all conjecture. Or how 
it can be admitted that there is a power to institute a government, and 
denied that there is a power to erect a Corporation, requires to be 
reconciled. 1 

Here then by an express concession of the Atty. General is a power 
to erect a Corporation in one case at least ; a power too which has in 
fact been carried into operation. 

It is said that the property contemplated in the clause may signify 
personal property of the United States however acquired ; and yet it 
is affirmed that it cannot signify money arising from the sources of 
revenue pointed out in the Constitution. 

This opposition in terms is not remarked for the sake of any verbal 
criticism. It is only meant to make use of what is conceded to oppose 
it to what is denied. 

The concession is that property in the sense of the clause, extends 
generally to personal as well as to real property. 

The denial is that it extends to money raised by taxes, which there- 
fore is to be considered as excepted out of the general term property, 
though comprehending personal property. 

For this exception the reason given is. " That the disposal and regu- 
lation of money is the final cause for raising it by taxes." This reason, 
which is rather subtile and against the letter of the clause, must be corn- 
batted by reasoning that may perhaps itself seem to savour of subtility 
and refinement. 2 

It would certainly be a more accurate and more just mode of 
expression to say " that the object to which money is intended to be 
applied is the final cause for raising it," than that the disposal and 
regulation of it is such. Now the objects for which the Constitution 
authorises the raising of money are common defence and general wel- 
fare. The actual disposition and regulation of it when raised are 
therefore the steps by which it is in fact applied to the objects for 
which it was raised. Hence therefore the money to be raised by taxes 
as well as any other personal property may be supposed to be com- 
prehended within the meaning as they certainly are within the letter of 
the authority to dispose of and make all needful rates and regulations 
concerning the property of the United States, that is to say, for the 
purposes of the common defence and general welfare. 2 

1 In much altered form in Lodge, in. 204. 

2 Lodge, in. 215, 216. 


The terms general welfare are of very comprehensive import. They 
must necessarily embrace every object of general concern, whatever 
has a general operation, relating either to the general order of the 
national finances or to the general interests of Trade, Agriculture or 
manufactures. 1 

A case will make this plainer. Certain revenues are now established 
in relation to the public debt. Suppose the whole or a considerable 
part of this debt discharged and the funds now pledged for it, or a con- 
siderable part of them, liberated. In such a case the taxes might be 
repealed ; and in certain instances it might be wise to do so, but in 
others it might be more wise to retain them, as the repeal might injure 
our own manufactures and industry. It would then remain to cause 
such a disposition as would consist with general utility or general wel- 
fare? Here then would be money to be disposed of and regulated in 
the strictest sense of the clause. 3 

What then would there be in such a case to prevent, under this 
clause, the investiture of those monies in a Bank, if such an institution 
should appear calculated to promote the general welfare ? Evidently 
the want of a power to erect a corporation would not be an obstacle. 
For, what is equivalent or more, the power to erect a government is 
admitted to exist and has been exercised under it. 3 

Hence it is evident, that under this clause alone a Bank may be 
erected. For as has been before remarked the existence of a constitu- 
tional power cannot depend on times and circumstances ; unless the 
Constitution marks out the conditions on which it is to begin to exist. 

Hitherto, except in this last instance, the arguments which have 
[been] used, have been designed to establish the general proposition 
that the Government of the U. States has power to erect Corporations 
in certain cases. This it is confided has been satisfactorily done, and 
all objections to it satisfactorily removed. And as all the Arguments 
of the Secretary of State and Attorney General are built on a denial 
of that proposition, as far as their objections are concerned there might 
be no necessity to proceed further. 

But something more is proper to be done to satisfy the judgment of the 
President of the United States. It is desirable to illustrate still further 
that there is a power to erect such a species of Corporation as a Bank 
by shewing that it has a fair relation to some one or more of the speci- 
fied powers. 4 

A few preliminary observations may be proper. 

The proposed bank is to consist of an association of persons for the 
purpose of creating a joint capital to be employed chiefly and essentially 

1 This paragraph was struck out. 

2 This sentence was struck out. 

3 Lodge, in. 216 ; * 206. 



in loans. There is no doubt that it is lawful for any number of indi- 
viduals so to associate and dispose of their money or property. The 
Bank of New York is au example of this. That Bank is not .incorpor- 
ated. The Bill proposes in respect to the government that it shall be- 
come a joint proprietor in this undertaking ; that it shall permit the 
bills of the Bank payable on demand to be received in payment of its 
Revenues, and that it will not grant a similar privilege to any other 
Bank. All this is indubitably within the compass of the discretion of 
the Government. The only question is, has it a right to incorporate 
this company, the more effectually to enable it to accomplish ends 
which are in themselves lawful. 1 

Its power of making Corporations in all cases relative to its proper 
objects has been proved. Let it now be examined to which of those 
objects the proposed institution relates. 

No person who reads with an impartial eye the powers vested in the 
National Government, but must be satisfied that it is intencfed by the 
constitution to vest it with all the powers necessary for what may be 
called the Administration of its Finances. 2 

It is authorised to raise money by taxes to an indefinite extent, to 
borrow money to an indefinite extent, to coin money, regulate the value 
thereof and of foreign coins, to dispose of and make all needful rules 
and regulations concerning the property of the United States and to 
pass all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution those 
powers. 2 

It has a direct relation to the power of collecting taxes ; to that of 
borrowing money, to that of regulating Trade between the States, and, 
as a consequence of the two first, to that of raising, supporting and 
maintaining fleets and armies for the common defence. And it is 
clearly within the provision which respects the disposal and regulation 
of the property of the U. States as the same has been practiced upon 
by the Government. 1 

It relates to the collection of taxes in two ways, indirectly, by in- 
creasing the quantity of circulating medium ; directly, by creating a 
convenient species of medium in which they are to be received. 3 

It is undeniably within the power of providing for the collection of 
the taxes to appoint the money or thing in which they are to be paid. 
Accordingly Congress have declared in the Collection law that the 
duties on imports and tonnage shall be payable in gold and silver at 
certain rates. But while it was a necessary part of the work to declare 
in what they should be payable, it was mere matter of discretion what 
that medium of payment should be. It might have been, though iu- 

1 Lodge, in. 207. 

2 These two paragraphs are struck out. 

3 Lodge, in. 207, 208. 


convenient, in the commodities themselves. Taxes in kind are not 
without precedents even in the United States. It might have been in 
the paper emissions of the several states, or it might have been in the 
bills of the Banks of North America, New York, Massachusetts, all 
or any of them, or it might have been in bills issued under the Author- 
ity of the United States. 1 

It is presumed there is not a tittle of this which can be contro- 
verted. The appointment then of the money or thing in which the taxes 
are to be paid is an object within the discretion of the Government, as 
incident to the power of Collection. And among the expedients which 
occur is that of bills issued under the authority of the United States. 1 

Now the manner of issuing these bills must be again matter of 
discretion. There must be agents employed for the purpose. These 
Agents may be officers of the Government, or they may be Directors 
of a Bank. If the notes of the Bank of North America were made 
receivable in the taxes, the Directors of that Bank would thereby be- 
come ipso facto Agents of the Government for this purpose. 

Suppose it were become a necessary mean of preserving the Credit 
of the bills that they should be made payable in gold and silver on de- 
mand, and that a sum of money should be appropriated and set apart as 
a fund for answering them ; designating certain officers of the Govern- 
ment who were to issue the bills and administer the fund. The con- 
stitutionality of all this could certainly not be called into question. 
And yet it would amount to the institution of a Bank, with a view to 
the more convenient collection of Taxes. For a Bank in the simplest 
idea of it, is a deposit of money or other property as a fund for circulating 
a credit upon it equivalent to money. The reality of this character 
would become the more obvious if the place in which the fund was kept 
should be made the receptacle of the monies of all other persons, who 
should incline to deposit them there for safe keeping ; and if in addition 
to the rest the officers of this fund were authorized to make discounts 
at the usual rate of interest upon good security. The first would be an 
operation within the discretion of the officers themselves, and to deny 
the power of the Government to authorize the last would be to refine 
away all government. 2 

This process seems to establish the natural and direct relation be- 
tween the Institution of a Bank and the Collection of taxes, and to 
shew that it is a mean which may with constitutional propriety be em- 
ployed in reference to that end. It is true that the species of Bank which 
has been just designated does not involve the idea of incorporation. But 
the argument intended to be founded upon it is this, that the institution 
or thing comprehended in the definition of a Bank being one immedi- 
ately relative to the collection of taxes, as it regards the appointment 
i Lodge in., 208; 2 208, 209. 


of the money or medium^ in which they are to be paid, the sovereign 
power of passing all laws necessary and proper for the collection of 
taxes includes that of incorporating such an institution as a requisite 
to its greater security, utility and more convenient management 

A further process will still more clearly illustrate this point. Suppose 
when the species of Bank, which has been described, was about to be 
instituted, it were to be urged that in order to securing to it a proper 
degree of confidence, the fund ought not only to be set apart and appro- 
priated generally, but ought to be specifically vested in those who were to 
have the Direction of it, and in their successors in office, to the end that 
it might become of the nature of private property incapable of being 
touched without invading the sanctions by which the rights of property 
are protected and occasioning more serious and general alarm, the ap- 
prehension of which might operate as a check upon the Government. 
Such a proposition might be opposed by arguments against the expedi- 
ency of it or the solidity of the reason assigned for it ; but it is not easy 
to conceive what could be said against the constitutionality of it, unless 
it should be a general denial of the power of incorporating in any case. 
But this it is presumed has been satisfactorily refuted. Here then by 
a very simple and natural step the quality of a corporation would be 
given to the institution. 1 

Let the argument proceed a step further. Suppose a Bank of the 
foregoing nature with or without incorporation had been instituted; 
and that experience had demonstrated, as it is very probable it would 
do, that it wanted the confidence requisite to the Credit of its bills, 
being wholly on a public foundation. Suppose in this state of things 
that by some of those adverse conjunctures which occasionally attend 
nations, there had been a very great drain of the specie of the Country 
so as to cause general distress for want of an adequate medium of cir- 
culation and defalcation in the product of the revenue as a consequence 
of it. Suppose also that there was no Bank instituted iu any State — 
in such a position of things would it not be most evident that the In- 
corporation of a Bank on the general principle of that proposed by the 
Bill, namely the Union of the Capitals of a number of individuals under 
a private management, would be a measure immediately relative to the 
effectual Collection of the taxes ? 2 

If it be said that such a state of things would render that necessary 
and therefore constitutional which is not so now, the solid answer to this 
is that circumstances may affect the expediency of a measure but not 
the constitutionality of it. 2 

It has been shewn that the word necessary is not to be taken in so 
strict a sense. Of this a further illustration may be given here. Con- 
gress are to appoint the thing in which the taxes are to be paid. 

i Lodge, in. 209, 210; 2 210,211. 


This as has been remarked may be commodities or gold and silver or 
paper. If Congress are authorized to do nothing but what is strictly 
necessary they cannot require the payment of taxes in gold or silver 
only because other commodities may answer ; nor can they allow them 
to be received in paper, unless there be no gold or silver. 

The institution of a Bank such as that proposed is directly relative 
to the borrowing of money. Its main business is to lend money. It 
is essential, especially in a Country like this, to the procuring of loans 
in sudden emergencies. It is the usual instrument relied upon for this 
purpose in different nations. 1 

A nation is threatened with a war. Considerable sums are wanted 
on a sudden to make the requisite preparations. Taxes are laid for 
the purpose ; but it requires time to obtain the benefit of them. Antici- 
pation is indispensable. If there be a Bank the supply can at once be 
had. If there be none, loans of individuals must be resorted to. The 
progress of these is often too slow for the exigency. In some situa- 
tions, indeed, they are practicable. Often when they are it is of great 
importance to be able to anticipate the product of them by advances 
from a Bank. 1 

The essentiality of this institution as an instrument of loans is 
exemplified at this very moment. An Indian expedition is to be prose- 
cuted. The only fund out of which the money can arise consistently 
with the public engagements is a tax which will only begin to be col- 
lected in July next. The preparations are instantly to be made. The 
money must therefore be borrowed. And of whom could it be bor- 
rowed if there were no public banks ? x 

It happens that there are institutions of this kind but if there were 
none it would be indispensable to create one. 1 And can it be believed 
that the Government would be destitute of the power of doing it ? 2 

Let it then be supposed that the necessity existed (as but for a 
casualty it would) that proposals were made for a loan, that a number 
of individuals came forward and said — We are willing to accommodate 
the Government with this money, with, what we have in hand and the 
credit we can raise upon it ; we doubt not of being able to furnish the 
sum required, but in order to this it is absolutely necessary that we 
should be incorporated with the capacity of a bank. This will not only 
be a consideration with us for the loan but it is \_cetera desunt\* 

i Lodge, in. 211. 

2 This last sentence is struck out. 

3 Lodge, in. 212. The ms. thus ends abruptly and on the bottom of an odd 
page, leaving a blank page unused. As the essay was written throughout on 
both pages of each leaf, it is very probable that Hamilton did not continue the 
argument further. 



The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th instant, 
at three o'clock, P. M. ; the President in the chair. 

In the absence of the Recording Secretary, Grenville H. 
Norcross was appointed Secretary pro tempore. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approvod ; and 
the Librarian read the list of donors to the Library during the 
last month. 

The Cabinet-Keeper reported his gift to the Society of an 
undated letter written by Rufus Choate, mentioning a desk 
used by him in his law-office, which was given to the Society 
in 1895. 

The President reported for the Council the following as- 
signments to prepare memoirs : Mr. Gray, that of Francis C. 
Gray ; Professor Haynes, of E. Winchester Donald ; Gov- 
ernor Long, of James M. Barker. 

The President announced the death of Charles Gross, 
Professor of History at Harvard University, and a Resident 
Member of the Society. In doing so, he said that he would 
presently call upon Professor Emerton, a colleague of Pro- 
fessor Gross at Harvard, to pay the tribute customary on such 
occasions to a deceased associate. As President of the Society, 
he would confine himself, in conformity with usage, to say- 
ing that, while in recognition of his valuable historical work 
and in view of his admittedly high standing as a student and 
investigator of historical subjects, the election of Professor 
Gross was in every way proper, he had never been what could 
be termed an active member of the Society, or contributed 
largely to its Proceedings. This, too, for obvious reasons. In 
connection with his chair at Harvard he was an overworked 
man, and had little time to give to what might be termed 
outside interests. The single mark left by him in our Proceed- 
ings is the mention of a letter, read by another in the u un- 
avoidable absence " of the writer, containing a " minute estimate 
of the historical work of M. Lavisse " ; which letter was not, 


however, printed. 1 Professor Gross had been the translator of 
Lavisse's " Political History of Europe." Though a Resident 
Member of the Society for over eight years, the records show 
that he was an infrequent attendant, his name appearing 
among those present at eleven meetings only. He never 
served on any committee, nor did he act as a member of the 

The President then called attention to the fact that the 
January meeting would complete a half-century since the 
election of Dr. Green, senior Vice-President and Librarian of 
the Society, as a Resident Member. He would at that time 
only call attention to this fact, with a view to putting here 
on record a suitable notice of it. 

Professor Haskins paid the following tribute to the late 
Henry Charles Lea : 

The death of Plenry Charles Lea removes from the Society's 
roll of Honorary Members the name of one who, for more than 
forty years, has brought honor to American historical scholar- 
ship. Born in 1825, the son of Isaac Lea and the grandson 
of Mathew Carey, Mr. Lea represented the best intellectual 
traditions of Philadelphia and showed his early bent toward 
the things of the mind by publishing an article on conchology 
in the " American Journal of Science" at the age of fifteen ; 
but his health as a youth was not strong and he never had a 
formal academic education. In 1851 he became a partner in 
the publishing house of Lea Brothers, with which he retained 
his connection until 1880, the greater part of this time as the 
active manager of the business. During the Civil War he 
was an efficient member of the military committee of the 
Union League and served as bounty commissioner ; on the 
organization, in 1871, of the first association for the reform of 
municipal government in Philadelphia he was made its presi- 
dent ; and throughout his life his influence was steadily exerted 
toward better political conditions in city, state, and nation. 

Mr. Lea's first publications in the field of history were 
certain essays on early law which began to appear in the 
" North American Review" in 1859, and were expanded into a 
volume in 1866 under the title of " Superstition and Force." 
This was followed the next year by a " History of Sacerdotal 

i 2 Proa, xix. 167. 


Celibacy in the Christian Church," enlarged in a subsequent 
edition (1907) (o two volumes, and in 1809 by a collection of 
11 Studies in Church History." The direction of Mr. Lea's 
studies was now defined, but eighteen years elapsed before 
the appearance of his next book, a period occupied partly 
with the responsibilities of business, and partly with laying 
broad and deep the scholarly foundations of the works upon 
which his reputation as an historian chiefly rests. These are ; 
U A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages" (1888); 
" Chapters from the Religious History of Spain " (1890) ; " A 
Formulary of the Papal Penitentiary " (1892) ; « A History of 
Auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church" 
(1896); "The Moriscos of Spain" (1901); "A History of 
the Inquisition of Spain " (1906-1907) ; and " The Inquisition 
in the Spanish Dependencies " (1908). In all, not counting 
new editions, Mr. Lea's published work fills eighteen substan- 
tial volumes, beside a number of monographic articles and a 
small volume of " Translations and Other Rhymes," privately 
printed in 1882. 

Looked at broadly, the central theme of Mr. Lea's histories 
is the Latin Church, which was to him " the great fact which 
dominates the history of modern civilization," and within the 
Church the development of those institutions which have 
established and maintained its power over the intellect and 
conscience of men. These institutions interested him, not as 
legal or theological abstractions, but as actual working forces, 
reflected, it is true, in the jurisprudence of the Church, which 
offers " the surest basis of investigation for a given period," 
but really understood only when studied in the concrete 
detail of daily life. This detail, the real warp and woof of 
history, does not lie on the surface, but must be sought be- 
yond code and statute in scattered chronicles and charters 
and fugitive publications, and in the dusty records of tribunals. 
In other words, any treatment of these subjects which was to 
be anything but superficial and temporary involved years of 
labor in the great folio collections of law and theology, in out- 
of-the-way tracts and pamphlets, and in the libraries and 
archives of every part of Europe. From this life of patient 
toil Mr. Lea never shrank. Remote from the original mate- 
rials, with none of the formal training of the historian, this 
self-made scholar set himself to attack some of the hardest 


problems of the world's history, whose difficulties were to 
prove the measure of his success. From the outset he formed 
the habit of going directly to the original sources, and while 
he never left Philadelphia for purposes of research, his large 
fortune enabled him to bring together an exceedingly valuable 
library of printed works and to maintain searchers and copyists 
in all the collections of manuscripts which were important for 
his purpose. 1 Dealing with matters which have long been 
the subject of bitter polemic, he deliberately abstained from 
reading modern writers lest they should obscure or distort his 
vision of the past, and he carried this practice so far as to 
neglect even the non-controversial writings of contemporary 
historians. This disregard of modern material proved a dis- 
advantage, not only in such matters as his awkward mode of 
citing authorities and his failure to use recent editions of texts, 
but especially in his treatment of the early Church, where 
the original records cannot be properly studied without con- 
stant reference to the results of critical scholarship ; but the 
fault was the defect of an admirable quality, and few are in 
danger of repeating it. The late Frederic W. Maitland, the 
greatest writer oii the history of law that the English-speaking 
world has produced, once said, "It is Dr. Lea's glory that he 
is one of the very few English-speaking men who have had 
the courage to grapple with the law and the legal documents 
of continental Europe. He has looked at them with the naked 
eye instead of seeing them — a much easier task — through 
German spectacles. We trust him thoroughly because he 
keeps his gaze fixed on the middle ages, and never looks 
round for opinions to be refuted or quarrels to be picked. 
This is not exactly the policy that we could recommend to 
any but a strong man. Dr. Lea, however, is strong, and 
sober, and waiy.'' 2 

Mr. Lea's style is clear and at times forcible, and his matter 
does not lack interest, but his books are read by scholars 

1 The volume of Monsignore Baumgarten mentioned in a subsequent note 
affords a curious example of a priori criticism. He says (p. 11) : "From his 
works it is apparent that Lea must have a card index of extraordinary dimen- 
sions, which afforded him ready, though sometimes misleading, answers to 
most of his questions. Whenever he crossed the ocean he has brought back with 
him considerable additions to his book treasures." Mr. Lea did not have a card 
index, and he did not build up his library by journeys to Europe. 

2 English Hist. Rev., vm. 755. 



and by thoughtful readers rather than by the general public. 
His theme is naturally better suited to interest a European 
than an American audience, and it is not generally realized 
among us that probably no American writer of history is so 
widely known and read on the Continent of Europe. Even in 
his native city he was better known as a man of affairs than 
as a man of learning, and Philadelphians of some reading 
were likely to be surprised when they were told that the ex- 
cellent judge of city real estate who lived at Twentieth and 
Walnut streets was one of the greatest scholars of his time. 
While, however, Mr. Lea's fame was mainly European and his 
erudition of the kind more commonly found in Europe, his 
career as a man of affairs who trained himself to be an histo- 
rian was characteristically American ; and there can be little 
doubt that his business experience helped to give him a sense 
of reality, an ability to see straight amid a mass of compli- 
cated detail, and a solidity of judgment which are often lack- 
ing in writers of a more academic type. 

In America his best-known book is probably his "Super- 
stition and Force," which is familiar to a large number of 
lawyers who have more than a practitioner's interest in their 
profession. This has passed through four editions and still 
remains, in spite of all that others have done to illuminate the 
early history of legal procedure, the best comprehensive ac- 
count in any language of the methods of trial embodied in the 
ordeal, compurgation, judicial combat, and torture. In Europe 
his best-known work is the " History of the Inquisition of the 
Middle Ages." Appearing at a time when the most distin- 
guished French student of the Inquisition had pronounced 
such an undertaking chimerical, this was speedily recognized 
as the standard authority on the subject, and while it needs to 
be corrected from time to time with the progress of mono- 
graphic investigation, there is no prospect of its being super- 
seded. It has been translated into French, a German edition 
is in process of publication, and it is understood that arrange- 
ments have been made for an Italian version. Mr. Lea's most 
mature work is the " History of the Inquisition of Spain," 
toward which all the efforts of his later years were directed. 
The subject is intricate and thorny; the materials were for 
the most part imprinted and uncalendared ; and except for 
certain publications of the author, scarcely anything had been 


done in the way of preliminary exploration or monographic 
investigation. Under such conditions the historian was obliged 
to be quarry-man as well as architect, and the four solid vol- 
umes which he produced were fashioned out of the solid rock 
of original documents. It was characteristic of the author 
that when he found the first draft of the work too long for 
purposes of publication, he took up calmly the task of rewrit- 
ing the whole at the age of nearly eighty. Rarely has so sig- 
nificant an institution been so sanely and comprehensively 
studied, and rarely has the reader been placed in so good a 
position to observe its workings and draw his own conclusions 
from the evidence presented. There is no striving for dramatic 
effect; the nature of the Holy Office is manifested in its nor- 
mal operations rather than in the sensational episodes of its 
history, and its significance is shown to lie " not so much in 
the awful solemnities of the auto da fe, or in the cases of a few 
celebrated victims, as in the silent influence exercised by its 
incessant and secret labors among the mass of the people and 
in the limitations which it placed upon the Spanish intellect." 
The narrative is sober and self-contained and there is little mor- 
alizing, but the general tendencies of the system are impres- 
sively pointed out, and the great lesson taught by the history 
of the Inquisition is declared to be "that the attempt of man 
to control the conscience of his fellows reacts upon himself," 
and that " the unity of faith which was the ideal of statesmen 
and churchmen alike in the sixteenth century is fatal to the 
healthful spirit of competition through which progress, mate- 
rial and moral, is fostered." 

Such a conclusion will not command universal assent, and 
much of Mr. Lea's work has been sharply attacked from the 
side of the Catholic Church. Such institutions as the Inqui- 
sition, the confessional, and the celibacy of the clergy have 
long been the subject of acute controversy, and their history 
touches issues of living moment. Mr. Lea might assert his 
lack of polemic purpose and declare his ideal of history to be 
" a serious attempt to ascertain the severest truth as to the 
past and to set it forth without fear or favor " ; he might mit- 
igate the conventional horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, and 
even contrast its enlightened treatment of the witch-delusion 
with the witch-burnings of protestant Europe ; but the deduc- 
tions from his investigations were generally unfavorable to 


the ecclesiastical system, and it is not surprising that Catholic 
writers have impugned his accuracy, and even his good faith. 1 
Still, fair-minded Catholics acknowledge his merits, and in 
course of time his works will be recognized as having added 
materially to the body of fact, considerable even now, upon 
which both Protestant and Catholic historians are in funda- 
mental agreement. Lord Acton not only pronounced the 
" History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages " to be " the 
most important contribution of the new world to the religious 
history of the old," but declared that its essential parts " con- 
stitute a sound and solid structure that will survive the cen- 
sure of all critics." 2 The Abbd Vacandard, author of the best 
volume on the Inquisition written from the Catholic point of 
view, while he denies the finality of the work, accepts Reusch's 
characterization of it as " l'histoire de l'lnquisition la plus 
e'tendue, la plus profonde et la plus fouillee que nous posse- 
dions." 3 Even Mr. Lea's latest assailant, Monsignore Baum- 
garten, cannot close without expressing " esteem and admiration 
for his industry, his endurance and undisputed results." 4 

Personally Mr. Lea had the modesty, the candor, the seren- 
ity, and the unselfish devotion of the truly great scholar. He 
was generous of his time and his learning to others, as I can 
personally testify, and many beginners in difficult tasks of re- 
search look back with gratitude to his advice and encourage- 
ment. Recalling his own intellectual isolation in the early 
3'ears of his studies, he watched with pleasure the growing 
circle of well-trained scholars in the United States, and looked 
forward with assurance to the future of the American school 
of history. Such optimism was characteristic of the man, but 
it also belonged to a view of history which held that the study 
of the past in the scientific spirit would render us not only 
more tolerant of outgrown ethical standards, but also " more im- 
patient of the present and yet more hopeful of the future." 5 

1 Beside numerous articles in reviews, see particularly Casey, "Notes on a 
History of Auricular Confession : II. C. Lea's Account of the Power of the Keys 
in the Early Church" (Philadelphia, 1899); and Baumgarten, "Henry Charles 
Lea's Historical Writings: a Critical Inquiry into their Method and Merit" (New 
York, 1909). 

2 The History of Freedom and Other Essays, 651, 574. 

3 L'lnquisition (Paris, 1907), vii. 

4 Henry Charles Lea's Historical Writings, 143. 

6 See his presidential address on " Ethical Values in History " in the Amer- 
ican Hist. Rev., ix. 233-246. 


Colonel T. L. Livermore paid a tribute to Colonel Theodore 
Ayrault Dodge, with an estimate of his work in military history. 
This has been expanded into a memoir, and will be found in 
this volume, page 208. 

Professor Emerton read the following tribute to Professor 
Gross : 

We are called upon to notice the death of a member of this 
Society who, though probably personally unknown to many 
of our fellow-members, was one of the world's first scholars in 
his chosen field of study. A more detailed account of his 
work as a scholar will be laid before the Society at a later 
meeting. It is my duty to-day only to call attention to some 
of the facts of his life and to say a word in appreciation of his 
singularly devoted aud engaging personality as a man and an 
academic citizen. 

Charles Gross died at Cambridge on the 3d of December. 
He was born at Troy, New York, on the 10th of February, 
1857. So far as we are informed there were no academic 
traditions in his family that would have pointed him natur- 
ally to the scholar's life, but his ability was early discovered 
by his teachers, notably by Mr. Harry Pratt Judson, now 
President of the University of Chicago, through whose influ- 
ence he was directed toward a college education. He was 
graduated from Williams College in 1878, taught for a year 
at the Troy Academy and in 1880 went to Europe for what 
proved to be an almost uninterrupted residence of eight years. 
Only once, I believe, did he return to this country, in search 
of occupation. Not finding a position to his mind, he went 
back to England and remained until he was called to Harvard 
College in 1888. 

This was an unusual preparation for the work of a uni- 
versity teacher. In that interval of eight years Gross had 
travelled widely in Europe, had taken his Doctor's degree at 
Gottingen, had studied in Paris and had spent several years 
in England collecting material for the work that was to make 
his chief reputation as a scholar. Early in his studies in Ger- 
many his attention had been drawn to the field of municipal 
history, and especially to the part played in the development 
of city governments by the organized guilds of merchants or 
of craftsmen. His Doctor's dissertation at Gottinsren was on 


the " British Gilila Mereatoria" and his work in England was 
largely a continuation of studies begun in preparation for that 

In the second }-ear after coming to Harvard he was able to 
print the two volumes of his "Gild Merchant in England," 
the first volume devoted to a searching study cf the origin and 
functions of the English guilds, and the second containing 
a mass of proofs and illustrations arranged according to the 
several towns studied. Already he had made a great collec- 
tion of titles for a " Bibliography of British Municipal His- 
tory, " which was published in 1897 as one in the series of 
Harvard Historical Studies. This led him to the still more 
elaborate " Sources and Literature of English History to 
1485," published in 1900. These are the books which have 
established Professor Gross's reputation as the first authority 
in the English-speaking world upon a wide range of questions 
in English constitutional history. Besides these he has edited 
two volumes for the Selden Society, — one in 1896, of " Select 
Cases from the Coroners' Rolls (1265-1413)," and one in 
1908, of "Select Cases concerning the Law Merchant (1270- 
1608)." Numerous articles contributed to many periodicals 
show his unwearied activity and his keen sense of the im- 
portance of making clear every detail in the group of histori- 
cal materials with which he was chiefly concerned. 

As a teacher Gross was occupied during the twenty years 
of his service at Harvard mainly with instruction in the field 
of early English history. He gave regularly a full course in 
this subject and a similar one in early French history, supple- 
menting this class work by personal guidance for advanced 
students. He was never what is ordinarily and vaguely de- 
scribed as a popular teacher. He used none of the arts of 
the academic demagogue, who seeks to capture the allegiance 
of youth by direct assault. He relied in his presentation 
upon the same qualities of accuracy and clearness that marked 
his own study and writing, and his appeal found, as such ap- 
peal always does, a ready response in the generous spirit of 
the student body. No one who came under his influence 
could fail to catch something of his scholarly quality. 

In the work of administration Professor Gross bore his 
share with a cheerful readiness, with unfailing tact and judg- 
ment. He served for several years as Chairman of the Depart- 

1909.] LETTER TO JOSEPH DUDLEY, 1703. 191 

merit of History and Government, submitting to its drudgery 
with patience and organizing many of the activities which the 
Department is now called upon to exercise. 

Personalty he was a remarkable union of extreme reserve 
with an almost childlike dependence upon friendship. He 
seldom sought the intimacy of his colleagues, but met every 
sincere advance with a cordial readiness that endeared him to 
us all. We shall all remember with gratitude the unstinted 
generosity with which he always shared with us his great 
store of knowledge and of suggestion for our profit. 

In the more intimate relations of life he displayed again the 
same qualities of absolute devotion to duty and the sacrifice 
of his own personal wishes for higher ends. .His domestic 
life, begun with every promise, was clouded almost through- 
out with the shadow of a great sorrow which he bore with 
unflinching courage and without complaint. In a very true 
sense of the word his life was sacrificed to demands which a 
less uncompromising nature might have avoided without re- 
proach, but which came to him as an obvious call of honor 
that must be obeyed. 

Mr. Norcross submitted the following document from his 
own collection : 

Lords Committee on Trade and Plantations to 
Joseph Dudley. 

Wiiitbhal, April, the 20th: 1703. 

Sir, — Whereas frequent Complaints have been made to Us of great 
Delays and undue Proceedings in the Courts of Justice in several of 
Her Majesty s Plantations, whereby many of Her Majesty's Subjects 
have very much Suffered ; and it being of the greatest Importance to 
Her Majesty's Service and to the Welfare of the Plantations that 
Justice be every where speedily and duly Administred, and that all 
Disorders, Delays and other undue Practices in the Administration 
thereof be effectually prevented ; We have thought necessary to recom- 
mend to you as We do to the several Governors of other Her Majesty's 
Plantations in respect of their Governments, that in the Courts of Her 
Majesties Province of New Hampshire under your Government where 
you are authorised to preside, You take care that Justice be impartially 
administred, and that as well there as in all other Courts established 
within Her Majesty's said province of New Hampshire all Judges and 


other Persona therein concerned do likewise perform their several 
Duties without any Delay or partiality. 

And whereas We are informed that there is great want of an Es- 
peeial Court for determining of smal Causes, We do think it for her 
Majesty's Service that you recommend to the Assembly of the said 
Province of Xew Hampshire the passing a Law for the Constituting 
such Court or Courts, which may be for the ease of Her Majesty's 

We further requ're you to take care that an Exact Account be trans- 
mitted to Us by every Conveyance of the Causes which have been dis- 
patched, and those which remain depending, and in General an Abstract 
of all proceedings in the Several Courts of Justice within your said 
Government. So We bid you heartily Farewel 

wry uw4i^Xri&fiij& m 


Colonel T. W. Higginson sent the following note on the 
Vassall tomb : 

I send you a sketch, made by my secretary, of the Vassall 
tomb-stone of which I spoke to you, in the old Cambridge 
cemetery. It is a slab supported by five pillars, one at each 
corner and one in the middle. It had originally only the 
emblems as given in the enclosed sketch, and until recently 
was without the inscription. In my time every boy in Cam- 
bridge was familiar with the meaning of the vase and the sun, 
standing for ki Vas — sol," representing the once prominent 
Vassall family of Cambridge. We children all knew by heart 
Dr. Holmes's verse on the " Cambridge Churchyard": 

1900.] LETTERS OF JOHN HANCOCK, 1760, 1761. 193 

Or gaze upon yon pillared stone, 

The empty urn of pride ; 
There stand the Goblet and the Sun, — 

What need of more beside? 
Where lives the memory of the dead, 

Who made their tomb a toy ? 
Whose ashes press that nameless bed? 

Go, ask the village boy! 

It is within ten or twelve years that I was made indignant by 
looking over at the stone and finding its whole dignity re- 
moved, inasmuch as some one had caused to be engraved 
there, just below the goblet, the inscription " Col. John Vas- 
sall, died Nov. 27, 1747." On inquiry I found that this in- 
scription had been put on without the knowledge of my old 
playmate, the late Mr. George Savil Saunders, who was the 
official custodian of the burial ground ; nor do I know whether 
it was ever known who added these letters. 

Mr. Greenotjgh submitted from his collections the follow- 
ing five letters of John Hancock, written while in London on 
business between his uncle Thomas Hancock and the Board of 

To Rev. Daniel Perkins, Bridgewater. 

London, October 29th, 1760. 
Reverend Sir, — I have wrote you severall Letters since my 
Arrivall here, but have not heard one Word direct from you or my 
Mother since I left Boston. [I] fear if you have wrote your Letters 
have miscarried. I long much to hear of my Mother, has she her 
health, pray write me particularly, to whom please to present my most 
Dutifull Regards, and Acquaint her I am very well, and hope to have 
the pleasure of seeing her by June next or sooner. My Love to my 
Sister, Respectfull Compliments to the Doctor. I am very busy in 
getting my self mourning upon the Occasion of the Melancholy Event 
of the Death of his late Majesty King George the 2d, to which every 
person of any Note here Conforms even to the deepest mourning. His 
Death was very sudden last Saturday Morning, after Rising as well as 
usual, he felt not well, and fell down in a Fit of Apoplexy and died 
instantly. 1 Every thing here now is very dull. All Plays are stopt 
and no Diversions are going forward, that I am at a loss how to dispose 
of my self. On Sunday last the Prince of Wales was proclaim'd King 

1 He died at Kensington on October 25, 1760, between seven and eight o'clock 
in the morning, from a rupture of the right ventricle of the heart. 




thro' the City with great Pomp and Joy. His Coronation I am told 
will not be till April, that I can't yet determine whether I shall stay to 
see it, but the rather think I shall, as it is the grandest thing I shall 
ever meet with. I am not more particular in the Circumstances of the 
King's Death, as I imagine you will have the Accounts long before 
this Reaches you. 

The Purport of this is only to Acquaint you and my Mother and 
Sister, &c I am well, hope soon to hear from you, In'trim please Ac- 
cept my best Respects, and am, Revd Sir, Your most Obed and 
Hume Servt. 

I shall write you tomorrow. 

To Ebenezer Hancock. 

London, 27th December, 1760. 

My dear Brother, — I have before me your agreeable letter of 
November 6th by Capt. Bride, and desire you will write me by every 
opportunity, and acquaint me more particularly with the Circumstances 
of my Uncle's Family. I am Glad to hear you are well, and earnestly 
beg you will give great attention to business and let your Conduct be 
such as to merit the Esteem of all about you, and remember that the 
Diligent Hand maketh Rich. I Expect on my Return to find you a 
Compleat Merchant. I am much pleased at the Advantages you 
have before you, of which I doubt not but you will make the proper 

I observed by your Letter our Sister is married, and that you were 
with them at the Celebration of it, I wish them great Happiness and 
satisfaction, and hope they will meet with nothing to Interrupt their 
Quiet, they have my best wishes. 

I shall write you again Soon. Have me Remembered in the 
Strongest Terms of Affection to my Uncle and Aunt. Love to all 
in the Family, particularly Hannah and Betsy. How is Molly and 
how does Cato behave. Is Agniss a Breeding. Is Prince as Gouty 
as ever, and Hannibal as peevish as formerly ; tell him I think of 
him, as he was the last of the Family I Saw on the Wharff. How is 
Thomas, and in short all. 

I have lately been ill, but am upon the Recovery, hope soon to get 
abroad again. I wish you, with Hannah Betsy and all the Family 
many happy New Years. The Compliments of the Season attend you, 
and I am, etc. 

Remember my Love to Nicholas Bowes, and all of my acquaintances. 
My respects to Mr. Glover and Brown. Forward the enclosed Letter 
to Bridgewater. 

Tell Hannah that at Mr. Barnard's 1 where I am ill, is a young 

1 Of the mercantile house of Kilby, Barnard and Parker. 

1009.] LETTERS OE JOHN HANCOCK, 1760, 1761. 195 

woman who is Remarkably Tender and Kind to me in my illness, and 
often brings her to my mind ; that I am as well attended as I could ever 
desire, and that I am very well off, but had much rather be ill, if I must 
be so, where my Aunt and she is, But that this young woman is exactly 
the Image of her in Respect of a good and tender Nurse. 

To Thomas Hancock. 

London, January 14th, 1761. 

Hond. Sir, — Four days ago I sent you a very long Letter by the 
Harriott Packett, which hope will Come safe to your hands. I am this 
day favour'd with your most obliging Letters of November 30th and 
December 6th by Captain Farr. All the Bills you have sent me have 
met with Acceptance of which I have Advised you. I am very sorry 
that I have been so unlucky in Regard to my Letters not Reaching you. 
I did not write by Atkins, as Bull sailed at the same Time by whom I 
wrote, and never Intended to be Remiss in that Respect, and should 
you Receive all my Letters I am well Satisfied you and my Aunt will 
not Think me Blameable. On my Arrival I wrote by the Packett, then 
by Farr which you have Rec'd, since those 1 have wrote you by Bull, 
Hulme, Partridge, Smith, White, Binney, Vernon, Newton, Earl Leces- 
ter Packett, and Calef Via N. York, Rhodes, Beach from Bristol, and 
the Harriott Packett, and by almost all these to my Aunt, that I hope 
you will not Think me wanting in Duty and Respect tho' at so great a 
Distance, which nothing that this Grand Place Affords could Tempt me 
to Forget. The Detention of the Boston Ships here, is Really no Fault 
of the Merchants but Contrary Winds. Bull was Loaded by Mr. 
Barnard and Dispatched as soon as possible, and sailed at same Time 
with Atkins, that it's very unlucky she did not Arrive, hope long before 
this she is with you. Mr. Barnard is very uneasy at the Disappoint- 
ment. By the little Observations I made, I am sure no House gives 
greater Attention to Business, and better Consults the Interest of their 
Correspondents than Mr. Barnard's. 

The Day before I was to have been Introduced to Admiral [Edward] 
Boscawen he was taken ill, and I am sorry to Tell you he is since Dead, 
his Death is greatly Regretted. 1 But the Governor 2 is so kind as to say 
he will get me Introduc'd to Mr. Frederick, by means of a particular 
Friend of his who is intimate with him. Mr. Bogdani I find is not 
upon the best Footing with the Board, that very little Attention is paid 
to any thing he says, and indeed he told me as much, but that he should 
be very Glad to Render you all the Service in his Power. I am Deter- 
mined at all Events to See Mr. Frederick soon, and if I should Fail of 

1 Died on January 10, 1761, at Hatchlands Park, in Surrey. 

2 Thomas Pownall 


being Introduc'd to him, will wait on him myself, and Acquaint him 
the Occasion, and Talk with him upon the Subject. Tho' the Governor 
Told me I might Depend upon his Friend, who is Lord Falmouth, I 
have not been wanting in Assiduous Endeavours to see him, but so 
many Intervening Circumstances have happened, and the Difficulty 
in meeting with great people at home, has put it out of my power 

I was this Morning with the Governor, he is very well. Mr. Green 
is not Arriv'd. I hope you will be able to Settle Nova Scotia Accounts 
to your Satisfaction. I intend mentioning the Scituation of them to 
Mr. Secretary Pownall. The Governor Tells me its next to a Cer- 
tainty that .Governor [Henry] Ellis of Georgia will be appointed to the 
Government of Nova Scotia. 1 I the rather mention this, as he is now 
at York on his Return to England, and perhaps may Take Boston in his 
way that you can have an Opportunity of forming a Connection with 
him. This is not got abroad, but the Governor Told me with Leave 
to Acquaint you. 

I wrote you I had seen Lady Warren, 2 and that she begs her Money 
may be Called in as soon as possible. And desires an Account from 
Mr. Apthorp with the principal Interest particularly Specified. As she 
was soon to be in Town after my Arrival, I rather thought it as well to 
wait, but finding it would have been more Agreeable to you, I could 
wish I had gone. Mr. Davis's Company into the Countrey was not 
from Choice, but my Party failing, as he was going and it would lessen 
my Expence, I went down with him, but dicl not Return with him. I 
have no great liking to him, and we have but little Correspondence to- 
gether, he is a man of a very assuming Behaviour, and has given him- 
self some Liberties here, that I have taken Occasion to mention to him 
that there's no great Understanding between us, he is going over in the 
first Spring Ship. 

I observe in your Letter you mention a Circumstance in Regard to 
my Dress. I hope it did not Arise from your hearing I was too Ex- 
travagant that way, which I think they can't Tax me with. At same 
time I am not Remarkable for the Plainess of my Dress, upon proper 
Occasions I dress as Genteel as any one, and can't say I am without 
Lace. 1 Endeavour in all my Conduct not to Exceed your Expecta- 
tion in Regard to my Expences, but to Appear in Character I am 
Obliged to be pretty Expensive. I find Money some way or other 
goes very fast, but I think I can Reflect it has been spent with Satis- 
faction and to my own honour. I fear if you was to see my Tailor's 
Bill, you would Think I was not a very plain Dressing person. I en- 

1 Best known by his account of "A Voyage to Hudson's Bay, by the Dobbs 
Galley and California in 1746 and 1747, for Discovering a North- West Passage." 

2 Probably Susannah de Lancy, widow of Sir Peter Warren. 

1000.] LETTERS OF JOHN HANCOCK, 1760, 1761. 197 

deavour to be in Character in all I do, and in all my Expences, which 
are pretty large. I have great Satisfaction in the Reflection of their 
being incurr'd in Honorable Company and to my Advantage. I shall 
be mindfull to send by the first Opportunity the Mitts for my A ant and 
the Shoes for you, with a Cane if can meet one Suitable. I wish to 
hear Bull is Arrived, and that the Things I sent by him for you and 
my Aunt proved Satisfactory. I imagine many of my Letters have 
Reached you before this, and long to hear from you on the Subject of 
my Tarry here. I could wish for many Reasons it may be Agreeable 
to you to Indulge me here to the Coronation, and hope my Resolution 
of at least waiting for an Answer to mine by the Packett in Regard to 
Mr. Treco thick x will be Agreeable. 

We have no News. Things seem very quiet. The King is very 
popular and much Beloved. I hear he has sent a Message to the 
House desiring he may be Enabled to Reimburse the Colonies the Ex- 
pence of Raising and Cloathing the Troops. I imagine an Address to 
the King will soon Appear from our Province. Pray who will be 
Pitched upon to present it, some American I should Think. I don't 
know whether we have an Agent, I frequently see Mr. [William] 
Bollan, am told he intends in the Spring going to Boston, but believe it 
only Talk, he looks half Dead, and is kept alive merely by Mechanism, 
he once in my hearing at the Coffee House Asked who I was, but he 
said nothing to me nor I to him. I am apt to Think Mr. Jno. Husk 2 
has some prospect of being Agent, he is a sensible cleane Man, and one 
I have a great Esteem of, I am very Intimate with him. 

February 10th. The Governor has been so kind as to speak to Mr. 
Frederick and mention'd every thing that was Necessary upon the 
Subject of your Connections with the Board, that entirely Satisfied 
him, and I am one day this week to wait on Mr. Frederick at the 
Board, and wish I could have seen him before this, but it is Attended 
with great Difficulty to find great people at home. When I have been 
with him I will write you fully. Mr. Frederick Told the Governor 
that he himself never heard a Complaint of you in his Life, and all the 
Board meant by Applications to others was to Endeavour to Employ 
those who would do their Business Cheapest, and Mr. Frederick said 
he should when his Leisure would allow be glad to see me, that he 
might know from me the particular Scituation of their affairs in America 
with Respect to your Transactions, and I must wait his own Time, of 
which in my next I shall be very particular, and am glad to find Things 
mar be so easily Reconcil'd. 

1 See Boswell's Life of Johnson (Hill's edition), in. 76 n. 

2 John, son of Ellis Huske. He represented Maldon, Essex, in the House of 
Commons, and was burned in effigy in America at the time of the Stamp Act. 
His fatiier had been postmaster in Massachusetts, and publisher of "The Boston 
"Weekly Post-Boy. " 


I paid the Governor £800 Sterling, or £1006.13.4 Lawfull Money 
in part of the Money in your hands, the Interest of which is to Cease 
from January 19th. The whole £800 I Took of Mr. Barnard, as I 
could by no Means make any Cessions to Mr. Trecothicks house, who 
I can't say, have us'd me well, and as I have wrote you very particular, 
shall say no more, but wait your Answer, which hope will approve 
my Conduct. 

Mr. Green is Arriv'd, and well, who begs Leave to Trouble you with 
the Inclosed. I have been with him, and am glad to find you have got a 
Remittance for 1759 Accounts, but he Tells me at 4/8 a Dollar, which 
is making you a great loser, and surely in Justice ought to pay at 5/ as 
the Accounts were made up at that Rate. 

I am not able by this to add, as I had but one hours Notice of this 
Ship Sailing, and must beg your Excuse for the ill Connection of my 
Letter, I shall write you very particular by Capt Ochterlony who goes 
for York next week. 

I hope soon to hear from you, and am with the greatest Respect and 
Esteem, Honored Sir, Your most obliged and most dutifull Nephew, 

The former part of my Letter was wrote some Time ago, but the 
latter in great haste, as the Vessell was under sail. 

To Ebenezer Hancock. 

London, March 31st, 1761. 

My dear Brother, — I have wrote you severall Times lately ; I 
Received your Agreeable Letters by Folger, for which I Thank you, 
am glad to find you with the Family are well, all whom I long to see, 
and am not without hopes of having that pleasure in the Course of the 
Summer. Tho' at present I am quite undetermined in Regard to my 
Return, and shall be so, till I hear from my Uncle. You must Excuse 
me, as I am always Engag'd some way or other, from Giving you any 
Account of the Curiosities here, how I spend my time, and what is 
going forward in this place of Universal Resort, all this must be 
Deferr'd to the happy moment when I shall meet you all in Boston, 
and Chat over the Agreeable Scenes I have pass'd thro'. I am almost 
Tired of this place, and can't say but I want much to be with you. I 
luive had but one Letter from Mr. Perkins since I left Boston, which 
to me is unaccountable. I have wrote him often. I cannot write him 
by this Conveyance, must therefore Desire you will present my Duty 
to him and my Dear Mother in the Strongest Terms of Affection, my 
Love to my Sisters, and Respects to the Doctors all whom I wish 
very happy. I Really think hard of it that Mr. Perkins should not 
write me oftener, but he may be hindred by his Avocations abroad. 

1909.] LETTERS OF JOHN HANCOCK, 1760, 1761. 199 

Pray present my Duty to my Uncle and Aunt, Love to my D[ea]r 
Hannah and Betsy, and to the whole Family, and to all my Friends as 
if nam'd. 

I am Glad to find you give so close Application to Business, which is 
the only way to Establish a good Character in Life. By all means 
study to please your Uncle and Aunt, to whom you are bound by all 
the Ties of Gratitude and Love. 

In Complaisance to you I can't write long Letters, but hope soon to 
do that in person which I now omitt in my Letters. I am with great 
Regards, Your Affectionate Brother, 

Tell Cato I shall Bring him a Cap and French Horn, but if I don't 
find him a good Boy shall give them to Scipio. 

To Thomas Hancock. 

London, 11th July, 1761. 

Sir, — Our last to you was dated 30 May per Captain Dymond and 
Copy per the General Wall, since which have received your favor of the 
16th April, 5 and 20 May last and 8 June, in which you remitted us 
General Amherst's Certificate for the hire of the Sloop Good Intent, 
Daniel Bragdon, Master, also for the Sloop Seaflower, Webster Master, 
and for the Sloop Victory, Jos. Purcell Master, all which are left at the 
Navy office, and expect to obtain Navy Bills for them payable in the 
course of the Navy which are now sold at about £8 per Ct. discount ; 
in the same you also remitted us Geo. St. Loe Bill on Thomas Fisher 
Esqr. vallue £72. 8. 4. which is noted for non acceptance, and when due 
shall return it you with protest, as we have no expectance it will be 

We observe that Miss Hope is passenger on Board the Diamond. 
Captain Mackay, who is not yet arrived, and now fear she is taken. 
We thank you for your Civilities to her, of which shall advise her 
Brother Mr. Henry Hope who will thankfully pay the money £86. 3. 3. 
you have advanced for her, which shall be placed to the Credit of your 
account with us. The twenty tons of hemp you order, shall be shipt 
you per the first opportunity, at present no Vessell bound for your port 
excepting Captain Jacobson, who sails in a few days, and in whome 
your Nephew Mr. John Hancock goes passenger, he is very well but 
hurried in getting ready for his departure, that we believe he will not 
be able to write you by this. We are much concerned to hear of the 
misfortune that befell the Prince George, but glad she was arrived with 
you. We have reed a Letter from Mr. Davis and the Owners, and 
are sorry the Latter applied to the Admiralty, for we think it would 
have been best to have saved that expence, we expect the Goods have 


been B long time delivered to the proprietors, which is expected by the 
Underwriters, who are willing to pay the BauBOme &c. but we don't 
know whether they will pay any extra charges that may have been oc- 
casioned at Boston. We have by this, wrote both to the owners and 
Mr. Davis in answer to their Letters; We have no certainty of a peace 
yet, but hope it will be brot. about before this year is out; The King 
declared his intentions to marry a few days ago in Council to the prin- 
cess of Mecklenburgh. 1 We are with Esteem, Your very hble Servt 

Kilby Barnard & Parker. 

11th July 1761. 2 

Honored Sir, — I have not Time as I am Engag'd in preparing for 
my Voyage to write a long Letter, and this is a saving way, that I can 
only Acquaint you I long since Agreed with Captain Jacobson for a 
passage, and Expected by this to have been half way to Boston, but 
unexpected Detentions have Arisen, both with Respect to want of Goods 
and Convoy, however can now say I am in great hopes we shall soon 
sail, she falls down the river on Tuesday, and I shall set out for Ports- 
mouth by Land on Thursday, and if we are not Detained there in wait- 
ing for Convoy, shall in a Week be on our Passage, which in Compliance 
with your orders, I am very earnest for, and my assiduous Endeavours 
have not been wanting to get a Passage sooner, but hope all 's for the 
best. The Difficulty of Transporting Baggage from hence to Falmouth 
prevented my going in the Packett to York. 

You will please to present my most Dutifull Regards to my Dear 
Aunt, Mrs. Hinchman, and Respectfull Compliments to all my Friends, 
with whom I hope to be soon. 

My Earnest wishes for your Health and Happiness, Concludes me in 
great haste, with the utmost Gratitude, Honored Sir, Your most obliged 
and most Dutifull Nephew. 

My Things are all going on board on Monday. 

Professor Wendell, in showing photographs of two por- 
traits by Smibert, said : 

The portrait by Smibert of John Gerrish, mentioned in Mr. 
Augustus T. Perkins's list, printed in the Proceedings (xvi. 
395) for December, 1878, is almost certainly not of Judge 
John Gerrish (1645/6-1714), but of his son Captain John Ger- 
rish (1668-1737/8), of Boston. Captain Gerrish was the father 

1 Charlotte Sophia, younger sister of Adolphus Frederick IV, reigning duke 
of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The marriage took place September 8, 1761. 

2 This is on the same sheet as the letter of the merchants. 

1909.] goffe's college. 201 

of Sarah Gerrish, Mrs. John Barrett, of Boston, through whom 
the portrait descended to the present owner, Miss Sarah Dorr 
Barrett, of Boston. An elder daughter, Anna, was Mrs. 
Joshua Gee, whose portrait by Smibert is in the possession of 
the Society. 

Another portrait by Smibert, not mentioned in Mr. Per- 
kins's list, or in the additions thereto (p. 474), is that of Jacob 
Wendell (1691-1760), which in 1878 was in possession of Mr. 
Wendell Phillips, from whom it passed to its present owner, 
Mrs. John C. Phillips of Boston. This portrait, among the 
largest and most highly finished from Smibert's hand, may 
perhaps have partly inspired the familiar passage about family 
portraits in the first number of the " Autocrat of the Break- 
fast Table." Jacob Wendell was grandfather of Dr. Holmes's 

Mr. Lane made the following remarks : 

In the course of the excavations for the subway on Massa- 
chusetts Avenue, near Harvard Square, Cambridge, a little to 
the west of Wads worth House, an old foundation- wall, extend- 
ing some forty feet, was uncovered on Monday, December 6. 
Only the lower courses of the wall were to be seen, the upper 
having been removed many years ago when the water pipes 
were laid in the street. Enough remained, however, to show 
that the smooth or inner face was toward the north, proving it 
to have been in all probability the cellar-wall of a building 
standing on the north side of the street. It may safely be 
claimed that the building itself must have been either the origi- 
nal " Harvard College," built in 1638, or else Edward Goffe's 
house, which stood on the next lot, and before 1654 had been 
acquired by the College for use as a dormitory. It was called 
" Goffe's Colledge," and is described in the early College rec- 
ords as containing " five Chambers, eighteen studies, a kitchen, 
cellar, and three garrets." The position of the foundation wall 
to the west of Wadsworth House makes the identification of 
the building with the Goffe house the more probable. As the 
work of excavation progresses to the eastward, it is not un- 
likely that the foundations of the original College building 
may be found. The discovery is particularly interesting be- 
cause the position of these buildings has never been known 

with precision. 



Mr. FORD presented eopies of two letters of James Otis on 
To Francis Rtbot. 

legal matters. 

Boston, Deer 24th, 17G4 
Sir, — I have received the Sum of two hundred sixty two pounds 
sixteen shillings and ten pence sterling of the several persons whose 
notes Jn° Gould indorsed agreable to the advice heretofore given you 
viz of Wheelright Erving and Royall and in pursuance of your direc- 
tions to demand the Difference between £800 and the Ballance of your 
Acco t Current against the said Gould you then expecting as you said 
the £800 of Halliday and Dunbar since which but long after Gould 
failing I was sorry to find you are disappointed having as you inform 
me in yours of June last ree'd but £638 : 11 : sterling of the Sum 
expected by Halliday and Dunbar. I heretofore informed you of 
Gould's Misfortune, he failed in June and is since supposed lost at Sea 
about the time your Letter came to hand, being bound from the West 
Indies to the northward left in distress by a Vessel in Company since 
arrived that gives the information. As he has left nothing there will 
be no Administration, should there be any I shall file your Claim. I 
fear your Conjectures in yours of the same date, that it will not be in 
my power to do you any service relating your Demand on M r Dennie 
are too well grounded, tho I must tell you if you had been determined to 
loose what he and others owed you here, you took the readiest way in 
all respects. You first sent over a Letter and loose uuauthenticated 
Acco ts without so much as a power, when the power came it was without 
the accots annexed or sworn to as by Act of Parliament is required 
which last never rec d as before advised you, till the 11 Octo r last by 
the London Packet Capt Calef with Gould Dennies and the Davis's 
Acco ts proved, but even now these Accounts are so stated as that I am of 
Opinion I could not maintain Suits on them if contested. I shall point 
out the defects. Davis Acco 4 for Instance begins with the Article of 
Ballance adjusted in England, now, if this was sued they might demand 
a Copy of that adjustment, then there are large general Charges in all 
the accounts instead of particulars. However I have done as well as I 
could with the Mess" Davis who have settled with me, as you will find 
by the inclosed Copies, they have charged you £800 sterling they say 
they have ordered Halliday and Dunbar to pay you long since and by 
their last Letters it seems probable that Sum or the greater part of it 
is by this time paid. They have signed their Obligation to pay it with 
Interest if you fail of receiving it of Halliday and Dunbar, so will let 
me know if paid the first Opportunity. The Sales of your joint Con- 
cern consigned them your half as you say £189 : 4 : 10 is not they say 
compleated so have obtained no Account of Sales from them, and not 

1909.] LETTERS OF JAMES OTIS, 1764, 1765. 203 

having any Account or Invoice of the Goods sent me from you, cant 
support an Action of account agaiust them, so you had best send the 
Invoice to the Merchant you may hereafter employ according to my 
former request which I persist in. The difference between the Bal- 
lance of your Account Current and the Settlement arises principally 
on your miscasting the Interest. There is an Order of £20 sterling on 
Jn° Phillips never paid he having been in Canada ever since it was 
drawn, and is returned. They also refuse to allow the recharge of 
£10: 10: sterling on the Diamond. But the principal thing that in- 
duced me to ease away on this Article and the Objections to your 
Charges of Interest, some of which are manifestly wrong, is that the 
whole Interest is disputable here. Compound Interest is against our 
Law, and you would be at the Mercy of a Jury wether to allow you the 
simple Interest, which they would certainly disallow unless an express 
agreement were proved of which I had no Evidence and they deny that 
it was expressly agreed, but tho't themselves obliged to allow it on the 
Custom (which our Jury dont regard) provided I would make the de- 
duction for compound Interest miscasting &c in your Account as by the 
Settlement inclosed will appear. As to arresting them and holding 
them to Bail for the Ballance according to your Account Current you 
to repay what you might receive by Halliday and Dunbar might have 
been at the risque of exposing you if not myself to an Action for Dam- 
ages which I did not chuse for myself nor think eligible for you espe- 
cially as you direct me in all your Letters to avoid Extremities nor do 
I think you would have thanked me for subjecting you to an Action for 
holding them to Bail under the uncertainty of what is rec'd from Liver- 
pool. I therefore tho't it most for your Interest to take their Bond to 
you Condition for the payment of £800 sterling with 6 f- Cent Interest 
in Case said Halliday and Dunbar have not or shall not pay it to you 
so as soon as you have rec'd it you will inform me there of as they will 
want their Bond up or discharg'd on such payment. They have also 
drawn Bills on Holliday and Dunbar for the Ballance of £203 : 13 : 9 
sterling, the first of which I inclose. If I can secure you any thing 
p r M r Dennie I will but I find that while you and he were in secret 
Treaty about a Composition with you and the rest of his Creditors of 
which you never informed me I say during this Treaty which I am as- 
tonished you should be so private in I find he has made over all his 
Estate real and personal for the Security of his Creditors before your 
Acco ts came authenticated and this in Consequence of Letters which he 
shewed me from you among others agreeing to the same, how this 
Affair was transacted I cant exactly find out, but he says you left it to 
him to act for you and you mention in your Letters to him that I shall 
not proceed till I hear further from you. It seems it would have been 
as regular to have informed me of the whole of your proceedings with 


him of which I am now at a loss for the whole. lie says he informed 
you of what was concluded upon by him in your behalf and with the 
rest of the Creditors in June or July last but hath no answer. I never 
heard of such Composition being on foot till since your last Letter and 
that by him M r Deunie when it was too late to secure any thing. It is 
a strange way of transacting to send a power against a Debter and then 
secretly give him a Letter of Licence as you have in Effect. Could 
you expect in this Situation of his Affairs I could arrest him break up 
his family and business that the Creditors agreed he should continue, 
for to Goal he declares he will go if only on the assurance of the Com- 
position promised in your Letter and thereby subject you to an Action 
of damages, but to what purpose would it be to commit him after all his 
Estate is made over, in short He says by your Letter to him you left it 
to him to act for you and that he will do you the same Justice with the 
rest of his Creditors. I believe he is an honest Man, and will perform 
it if he can so you must een settle it between you, should I find any 
of the Incumbrances on his Estate cleared or the Conveyances defective 
I will endeavour to serve you tho' I see little prospect I hope as you 
have begun, you and he will be able to settle the Affair to your mutual 
Satisfaction. Inclosed you have with the first Bill from the Davis's 
for the £203: 13: 9 on Halliday and Dunbar, a Copy of their Bond 
and Settlement of the Account Current, besides they say they have re- 
mitted you £150 which they agree shall go towards the Consignment or 
joint Concern on Commission mentioned in your last to me ; this will 
appear by a Memorandum on the Schedule annexed to said Bond for 
said £800 if not paid by said Halliday and Dunbar so that the said 
Commission Account of the Goods consigned in Company you '11 per- 
ceive lays open as before observed. I am yours &c. 

J Otis. 

To George Johnstone and Others, Assignees oe Wight 
and Graham. 

Boston, Jany 25th, 1765 
Gentlemen, — I rec d yours of the second of Nov r and am glad you 
approve of my Conduct with regard to M r Hurd. He is very unjust 
in charging me with Severity. He must be conscious I have done 
nothing but what his Conduct will justify to all the World. You re- 
covered Judg 1 against him at the Inferior Court in Octo r last for the 
sum of £3268 : 15:0 ster & being the Condition of the Bond with 
Interest. He has appealed to the Superior Court which setts the lat- 
ter end of February, in the meantime having given Bail to your suit he 
has shut himself up from his other Creditors. I shall inform you of 
every step I take in relation to this Affair. As you must have recd his 
proposals of a Composition before this, I would only mention this for 

1909.] LETTERS OF JAMES OTIS, 1764, 17G5. 205 

your Consideration, that if he delivers himself up to save his Bail he 
may after a certain number of days by the province law be discharged 
from Goal, making Oath that he is worth nothing which may soon be 
the Case if he is driven to Extremities. According to your directions 
in your last I have "pressed M r Scollay for a Settlement." I also 
applied to him as directed for Cap f Gooch's Acco 1 , but have not yet 
obtained at. I was with him almost every day from your last urging 
him to make a payment or Remittance by good Bills. He promised 
fair as usual till the failing of M r Wheelright which happened here 
last week and has given as great a shock to credit here as your South 
Sea Bubble did in England some years ago. 1 This Gentleman from a 
handsome fortune left him by his father and the great Business he was 
in for the Government at Home during the Wars acquired such an un- 
due Credit that he became next to the Treasurer, Banker General for 
the province and almost for the Continent his Notes passed at par with 
those of our province, which are as good as your Bank Notes. Nay to 
such a madness had people arrived that they took their Money by 
thousands from the Treasury to trust it with this Man, but last week, I 
say, the bubble broke, some say for £10000 sterl", and I can compare 
it to nothing but the late Earthquake at Lisbon, such was the Conster- 
nation for some little time that people appeared with pale Horror and 
Dread, and when a little recovered run about the City. Widows and 
Orphans that are ruined can only bewail their fate, the more resolute 
have been pulling and hauling, attaching and summoning to secure 
themselves, but it was too late to shut the Stable door, he had made 
over all his Estate and Effects to a brother, who it seems with the fam- 
ily say they are the greatest Creditors. This is among the Misfortunes 
owing in a Measure to our Bankrupt Act not being approved at Home. 
It seems to me to be for the Interest of the Merchants on your side 
that their debtors here should not have it in their power to secure a 
few relations and friends and exclude all others. But to come nearer 
your own Affairs, this Bankruptcy of Wheelright and the difficulties 
and restrictions of our Trade here has brought on divers others, and 
they are increasing daily. I found that of a Number like to be run 
upon, M r Scollay was one. I made out an Attachment, the Officer 
was within an hairs breadth as I may say of taking his body, which if 
he had, it might have been better or worse which I cant say. The 
Officer went to his house in hopes of finding him there but he was 
abroad. Coming home and as I find since see[s] the Officer going in 
and suspecting his Business went back and absconded. The Alarum 
was taken instantly more especially as Wheelrights affair had put every 
one on the look out, all that was to be done was to attach his House 
and Furniture and other real Estate, what shop goods he had by him I 

1 Nathaniel Wheelwright. See 2 Proc., x. 52. 


know not, but it appearing very thin to me, I cbose to take him if 
I could but missing of him as above I sent in a few Minutes to the 
shop but lie had ordered it to be shut upon seeing the Officer go into 
the house. What security the Officer has got I am not able to say as 
he has not compleated the inventory of y e Goods in the house, tho I 
fear it will prove very short of your demand especially as there is only 
an Equity of Redemption on the real Estate, he having mortgaged it 
last Summer for a debt due to a Gentleman in Bristol tho' he says he 
has paid most of it off. One reason I have to think your chance is as 
good as if the Officer had gone first to the shop is, that it would have 
been too late as it turned out to have gone to the house, for twenty 
Writs were out after him in consequence partly of yours but principally 
by reason of the general distress on Wheelrights Acco 1 besides if the 
Officer had gone to the shop others would have entered with him and 
before he could have inventoried his Braziers Ware which is what he 
deals in, the other Officers would have come in and divided stakes by 
attaching. M r Scollay declares his intentions are to pay all their 
equal proportions and he says he has enough to pay all their whole 
dues if time is allowed him, this is always said in like Cases, so will 
not gain much Credit. What the exact State of his Affairs is I believe 
he dont know himself. For now people speak freely, which is very 
dangerous here of a Merchant, damages for defaming them being ex- 
cessive in Comparison of what is given in England. I think £800 is 
the highest I can find in my Law books, whereas it is common for a 
merchant here to recover a thousand or two cool Guineas for defaming 
his Character and soon after to break or run away This was the Case 
of one Fletcher here some Years since, who my old Cahill can tell you 
more off, if you think it worth your Enquiry. W T heelright recovered 
£2500 of two brave Officers who served at Quebec only for saying the 
French told them they had Intelligence of the designs of the English 
from their friend Wheelright at Boston. M r Scollay has in general 
obtained the Character of an honest Man who has over traded himself 
and has met with some losses and tho' he was reckoned a slack pay- 
master it is remarkable that I cant find he was ever sued till last Week 
except upon a disputable Case, wether he as Owner or the Insurers were 
answerable for a small Ransom Bill. I should think it for the Interest 
of all his Creditors to come to as speedy a Composition with him as 
possible, as keeping him shut up, as he is now, is only maintaining his 
family at their own Expence. I am not yet satisfied wether my power 
enables me to compound, if it did should choose to know your minds, 
in the mean time shall prosecute the Suit. If it comes to a Composition 
or not I repeat my desire that you would send a new Power to some 
Merchant here, as my profession is only that of the Law it is impossible 
I should know the course of peoples trade and consequently their cir- 

1909.] LETTERS OF JAMES OTIS, 1764, 1765. 207 

cumstances so well as Gentlemen in trade. I cant but again mention 
and lament your not sending the papers and Acco ts authenticated in 
season had this been done I might have secured all your demands. I 
reed the first Copies of y e Commission of Bankruptcy of Wight and 
Graham in your last which came to hand but a few days before I found 
myself obliged to sue M r Scollay. M r Young still declines paying and 
therefore you will take such Measures about sending the proof of his 
Debt as you think fit. Your humb. Servant 

J: Otis 
Yia Bristol and Hull. 






Theodore Ayrault Dodge died on October 25, 1909, at 
his Chateau de Rozieres at Nanteuil le Hadouin, Oise, France. 
He was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, May 28, 1842. 1 
Following his appointment in 1851 on the American Commis- 
sion to the Great Exhibition in London, his father, Nathaniel 
S. Dodge, moved his family to that city in 1852, and soon 
afterwards placed his son, the subject of this memoir, in the 

1 He descended from William Dodge, yeoman, who landed with the Salem 
colony in 1(329, from whom the line, as recorded by Colonel Dodge, was as follows : 
(2) Captain John Dodge of Beverly (1636-1673), an officer in the war against 
the Narragansetts ; (3) Jonathan Dodge of Salem and Beverly; (4) George 
Dodge of Beverly and Ipswich (1709-1793) and Martha Fisk of Wenham ; (5) 
George Dodge of Ipswich and Hamilton (1749-1827) ; (6) Rev. Joshua Dodge of 
Ipswich and Haverhill and Moultonborough, N. H. ( 1779-1829) and Mary Shatswell 
of Ipswich; (7) Nathaniel Shatswell Dodge, b. in Haverhill, Jan. 10, 1810, d. in 
Cambridge, Feb. 2, 1874, and Emily Pomeroy of Pittsfield, Mass. ; (8) Theodore 
Ayrault Dodge. On his mother's side his line was as follows : (1) Eltwied Pom- 
eroy, who came from Wales to Windsor, Conn., in 1636; (2) Medad Pomeroy of 
Windsor; (3) Ebenezer Pomeroy of Windsor and Northampton, Mass. (1669- 
1754) ; (4) Seth Pomeroy of Northampton (1706-1777), a colonel in the French wars 
and brigadier-general in the Revolution, he was in the ranks at Bunker Hill; (5) 
Lemuel Pomeroy of Northampton (1738-1819) ; (6) Lemuel Pomeroy of North- 
ampton and Pittsfield (1778-1849) and Hart Lester; (7) Emily Pomeroy (1811- 
1867). Hart Lester (6) descended from Dr. Pierre Ayrault, a Huguenot refugee 
who came to Newport, R. I., in 1680. He was son of Pierre Ayrault, who was 
president, seneschal, and mayor of Angers (Anjou), France, whose father, Pierre 
Ayrault, had been chief magistrate of the Criminal Court of Angers, and princi- 
pal advocate of the Parliament of Paris, and an author of repute. In October, 
1865, Colonel Dodge married Jane Marshall Neil of Columbus, Ohio ; she died 
in 1881. His children by her were Robert Elkin Neil Dodge, b. 1867, A. B., 
II. C, in 1889, A. M. in 1891, editor of Spenser's works in Cambridge Poets' 
series, now Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin ; Emily 
Pomeroy Dodge, b. 1868, d. 1883; Theodore Ayrault Dodge, b. 1870, d. 1871; 
Theodora Dodge, b. 1871, now resident in Munich; Jane Marshall Dodge, b. 1873, 
now resident in London, a writer on sixteenth and seventeenth century music. 
In October, 1892, he married Clara Isabel Bowden of Boston, who survives him. 



College des Jose'phites in Tirelmont, Belgium, where he re- 
mained until 1854, when, going to Berlin, he became an inmate 
of the family of Major General von Froerich of the retired list 
of the Prussian army. lie entered, and until 1857 contin- 
ued in, the Friedrich Werderschen Gymnasium. Concurrently 
with his schooling there, he received, under the General's di- 
rection, special instruction, which, with constant visits to the 
barracks and drill ground, gave him the rudiments of military 

Later, preparing at a school in London, he matriculated in 
the University of London, where he was graduated in 1861, in 
the meantime having spent a few months at the University of 
Heidelberg. Returning with his father to America, he enrolled 
himself in the 101st New York Volunteers in August, 1861, and 
was soon commissioned first lieutenant. With this regiment, 
in the Third Army Corps, he made the Peninsula and Bull 
Run campaigns of 1862. At the second battle of Bull Run 
the regiment was heavily engaged, losing one-half its number. 
Lieutenant Dodge was commended by the colonel's report for 
his "great service." Immediately afterward, at Chantilly, 
he was seriously wounded. The impending consolidation of 
the regiment with another led the young lieutenant to 
accept the appointment of adjutant in the 119th New York, 
then being organized. His father, at the age of fifty-two, 
took service in the same regiment as first lieutenant and 
quartermaster, and performed the duties of that office for 
some months, at the end of which he was promoted to captain 
and assistant quartermaster of United States Volunteers. 
Adjutant Dodge joined the regiment in November. 1862, as soon 
as he had recovered from his wound. With this regiment in 
General Carl Schurz's Third Division of the Eleventh Corps 
he took part in the battle of Chancellors ville. At Gettysburg 
this division in position near the Carlisle road, east of the 
town, on the afternoon of July 1, 1868, sustained a furious 
attack by a portion of Ewell's Corps. General Schurz savs in 
his report that Barlow's (First) Division having boon forced 
to retreat, he had received General Howard's order to with- 
draw to Cemetery Hill, and that the Third Division " fell back 
toward the town in good order, contesting the ground step bv 
step with the greatest firmness," officers and men showing 
44 the highest courage and determination, n and that the second 


brigade lost all its regimental commanders, and several regi- 
ments nearly half their number in killed and wounded. The 
119th New York, which was in this brigade, lost eighty-one 
killed and wounded, and fifty-nine missing. Adjutant Dodge 
received a wound which necessitated amputation of his right 
lrg. He was commissioned captain in November, 1863, and 
major in August, 1864, in the 23d Regiment of the Veteran 
Reserve Corps. In May, 1864, he was appointed to the charge 
of the enrollment branch in the Provost Marshal General's 
bureau at Washington, and in December, 1864, to the conduct 
of the bianch relating to desertions. To the former branch 
were intrusted the superintendence of the boards which were 
appointed in each congressional district to enroll all men liable 
to military duty, the computation of the number to be drafted 
from each district, the direction of the drafts for service from 
those enrolled and the accounting with the States for all vol- 
unteers recruited and credited on the quota of each district. 
In view of the importance of this work to the Union cause and 
the necessity of just and tactful dealing with the States, the 
appointment of an officer of twenty-two years to its conduct 
measures the impression which his talents and breadth of view 
had made upon those in authority. 

In 1865 he began the study of the law, devoting to it such 
time as his military duties permitted, and attending lectures at 
the Columbian College Law School, from which he was gradu- 
ated LL.B. in June, 1866. He was then admitted to the bar 
of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. About this 
time he was made military superintendent of the War Depart- 
ment buildings, with a command of two companies which later 
were incorporated in the 44th United States Infantry. He was 
commissioned captain in this regiment in July, 1866. In his 
capacity of superintendent in 1867 he participated in holding 
the War Department buildings for Secretary of War Stanton 
against President Johnson and General Lorenzo Thomas, whose 
appointment as Secretary of War ad interim Mr. Stanton dis- 
puted. April 28, 1870, much against his will, he went on the 
retired list by force of an act of Congress retiring all disabled 

He received the commissions of brevet lieutenant-colonel of 
United States Volunteers and major in the United States Army 
for " gallant and meritorious services " and colonel of United 

IfBMOIB 01 'in 

State i \Tolun 

Army •■ foi ■ allant and mei il 

Qel t 

I J.',!, | ■ 

Dod ■• • d upon a 

which time 1 

inoi -mi indu try, and \ 

Buch a i we like to i bin fa 

A ni'-i ioan I «.i' ( ,i !,. r people. J 

luit line w bich should leai •• h m 

pursuit "i lei ten, b< i in bin but 

sinli as In- had brouj I i : 

not exempt from ill" e mntal i 

attend i be \ enl ure i ime Ami i 

indej enden 

N.ii haniel 1 1 
by him, hi i w m I heo< I 
letters from Loudon which 
Po i " and other ne \ 
in the houi - of leisure left t«» i 
duties, and during the la 

War Department he w rote for t! G 

11 Harper's/' "Packard's" and many other ;• 

l B80 and 1 v ^ I he w rote tl 1! - 

toi ical Sooiety of Massachusetts, ( 

oampaign. I fp to thai time he had n< 

;i book, Ii was nal ural that, \> itb tl ■ 

his abundaut kno* ledge of the i ' • il \ v ' I 

bureau, hia pei tonal expei ieuee in 1 ia ■ 

linn to make il the Bubjeol of his 1 1 1 I 

lished in 1 88 l und< r I be i " ( 

Appeal in ■■. .i i n did, « [lit j i 

offioial records, il was a timelj guide f 

oampaign, and il 

northern oi il io as ■ valuable ai I t»> the 

southern authority always alert 

disparagement of southern prowess — as 

•• ablest and fail eat n ol 

Tw o \ ears later he p r . \ 

( )\y il War " The nai ratii 
hook w iihni the lim 


youthful son, for whose instruction it was written. Yet its 
treatment of campaigns is on a broad scale and of admirable 
clearness, and it survives the publication of the War Records 
and thousands of other books on the War as a valuable and 
serviceable compend of the subject. In the light of evidence 
contained in these later publications the book's estimates and 
criticisms of our generals do not all now receive the assent of 
those who hold the author's work in general in high esteem ; 
for example, many who sympathize with his praise of Sherman 
where he writes, " He, if anyone, showed during our Civil 
War the divine military spark," would not agree with the 
antithesis which he makes between this phrase and the state- 
ment that " when Grant resorted to manoeuvring he succeeded 

An estimate of Grant more directly disparaging is found in 
a paper read by Colonel Dodge in 1884 before the Military 
Historical Society of Massachusetts, entitled " Grant as a 
Soldier," in which the credit for Fort Donelson, which is 
usually accorded to him for that victory, is diminished ; of 
the plan to turn Pemberton's flank by crossing the Mississippi 
it is said that " its only merit lay in that it showed no sign 
of turning back"; and that Grant's success in it lay in the 
incapacity of his opponent Johnston ; that in front of Peters- 
burg Grant made no attempt on any plan except that of 
working to Lee's right to cut off his supplies ; and that, with 
no brilliant feat of arms by Grant, the end at Appomattox 
came through the death of Lee's army by inanition. But with 
full appreciation of Grant's inflexible moral courage, the 
author says : " to lose a battle only made him more elastic in 
his determination to retrieve his loss ; this quality alone in the 
degree to which it is ingrained in Grant stamps greatness on 
any man who is occupied with national interests " ; and he 
concludes that Grant " would have been unequalled in a 
defensive campaign." 

It would be superfluous to here attempt to weigh these 
opinions. The official records and other later publications 
are ample for the student who is interested in weighing them. 
But the present repetition of them serves to throw into due 
relief the liberality of mind shown by Colonel Dodge in 
revising his views twenty years later, as will be noted in this 
paper further on. 


Some of the facts the later disclosure of which may h 
led to this change of views are as follows. The Confederate 
returns published in the War Records show that Grant in 
sending the Sixth Corps from Petersburg to Sheridan in the 
Shenandoah in the summer of 1864 to accept the offer of battle 
there which proved to be so advantageous for the Union c 
so much reduced the preponderance of his force at Petersburg 
— in August, 69, 206 to Lee's 55,622 — that it then became the 
best strategy to there do only what was necessary to pre 
the detachment of reinforcements to the armies opposing 
Sheridan and Sherman. By strong demonstrations on both 
flanks, attacks on works thought to be weakly guarded, and 
attacks on Lee's railways, Grant accomplished ibis cud. and at 
the same time gave such an impression of his strength - 
prevent all thought in his adversary of availing himself of the 
advantage of his interior and fortified lines to attack. It is 
also of interest to read in the Confederate correspondence and 
reports contained in the records, the evidence that it was due 
to Lee's combativeness, and not to inanition of his arm v. that 
he refused to retreat from Petersburg while yet he might, to 
join Johnston in North Carolina, and whieh led him to make the 
disastrous assault at Fort Stedman, with a loss of 4000. and 
still to delay in his works until he was put to the retreat by 
Grant's breaking his line by assault, in which battle and in the 
other engagements from March 29 to April 9, in a field of 
operations one hundred miles long, Grant annihilated Lee's 
army of 51,000. The theory that Lee's forces failed from 
inanition does not consist with the series oi' fierce battles dur- 
ing this period, in which it killed or wounded ovei '• 000 vi 
Grant's men. 

Colonel Dodge's pen was not confined to military history. 
lie was an ardent horseman, and from his experience in the 
saddle of more than thirty years he wrote two admirable works 
on equitation which were published in 1885 and 1894, ami 
are ranked as high authority on the subject. 

Of Colonel Dodge's patriotism his son writes as follows: 

Although educated abroad and by training a European, be retui 

to his native land as scon as serious trouble rose there and I 

once as a, private in liis country's service, lie was always \ patriot in 

the fullest sense of the word. He knew other count lies well, 


recognized wherein they surpassed us, but he always believed in 
America and American superiority in the essentials of national genius. 
And wherever he went abroad he took whatever opportunities fell in 
his way, to explain American ideals and methods to intelligent 
foreigners. I remember well the various conversations we had abroad 
with Frenchmen and Germans during my trip with him in 1892. 
Knowledge of foreign ways seemed only to confirm him in his Ameri- 
canism, and perhaps the central source of this was his having served 
in the war. What was really nearest to his heart I think was his 
military record. 

Nothing could have been more consistent with the ani- 
mating spirit here disclosed than the project which was formed 
by Colonel Dodge, prior to 1886, of writing a work upon the 
American soldier. For this work he made many notes and 
collected much material, but after he had written a part of 
the text he saw that he lacked much of the necessary 
knowledge of the soldiers of other nations, with whom he 
would have to compare the American, and therefore, suspend- 
ing his original plan, he began to read up the ancient warrior. 
His interest in the subject grew until it impelled him " to 
start a series of biographies of Great Captains, the under- 
current of which should be a History of the Art of War, 
which art their deeds had created." During the time while 
he was yet in active business he found time for the wide 
reading upon which he made the first draft of the biographies 
of Alexander, Hannibal, Csesar, Gustavus Adolphus, Freder- 
ick the Great and Napoleon. In 1888 he delivered six 
lectures at the Lowell Institute upon these leaders, the writ- 
ing of which he said gave him a keener insight into the 
subject, and lent homogeneity to the scheme of the series 
which he had projected. A volume containing these lectures 
was published in 1889 and was well received. 

In 1890 he published the narrative of Alexander's cam- 
paigns, as the first of the final series which he had projected 
and which he entitled " Great Captains." It appears in the 
announcement in this volume that he had then formed the 
opinion that in the twenty-one centuries following Alexander's 
death the only leaders to be ranked with him as masters in 
the art of war were Hannibal, CaBsar, Gustavus Adolphus, 
Frederick the Great and Napoleon. The volumes on Hanni- 
bal and Caesar were published in 1891 and 1892. These 


three volumes were necessarily based upon I 

the ancient writers, but Colonel Dodge I 

of Hannibal and Caesar on the ground which thej 

studied their battles upon the fields whe 
and with charts and maps such as modem I 
have, prepared by him for his works, and mu< h 
comment, lie threw such light Upon the camp 
of the three leaders of antiquity as to give them 
military students and deep interest for all Pi 

lives are enlarged by a thousand details, clearly Bet 1 

of the formation and movement of phalanx and legion an 
order of battle, of marches and camps, armament and 
Alexander he credits with the contribution to th 
of conceiving a plan of campaign and ad 
securing Hanks and rear on each advance, of ac ';: 
granaries while living on the country, and of mi] 
rapidity in strategic movements; in Hannibal he finds the 
greatest strategist of ancient times, whose sin ess in 
is commemorated in the epithet "Punic faith" wl 
Romans applied to it. Before his time, exceptii g A 
campaigns and minor instances, war had been d<- 
battle; tactics alone, in the use el" which armies i 
in the simple order of parallel lines. To Hannibal a Is 
credited the development of the art of deciding cam: 
attacking lines of communication. To Caesar i- at 
the principle of attacking the key point to the negl 
minor ones, of keeping his army concentrated and the enemy 
divided, of seizing central positions from which to attack - 
division of the enemy separately, and of always m 
quickly to attack the enemy while unprepared, which 
sometimes carried to rashness. 

It- required the confidence based i^\ wide n 

found analysis to pass over tie 1 leaders i^( the - v cen- 

turies following Caesar's death including Belisai s, I 
Martel, Charlemagne, Henry IV, and William the Conqu 
as Colonel Dodge did without misgiving, and ^w 

rank Cromwell, Maurice of Orange, Tir.vnuc. Bug I 

borough, and Wellington as generals who, i 

their record o( sneers in campaign and battle, cannot 1 

oredited with inventing any leading principle in t; 

war. In his view improvement in the art I 


with the decadence of the Roman Empire, and the study of it 
suffered eclipse with the study of letters during the following 
centuries : as the skilled practice of it diminished, the foot 
soldiery became inefhcient and neglected, and horsemen came 
to constitute the strength of armies; with these armies war 
was neither an art nor a science; after the lapse of centuries 
it remained for the English bowman at Falkirk and Cv6cy 
to find that his cloth-yard shaft could annihilate the best 
cavalry from distance, and for the Swiss pikemen at Laupen 
to prove that they could withstand armored knights ; feudal 
service gave way to standing armies, the re-establishment of 
infantry relegated cavalry to its place; firearms and artillery 
were adopted, and the discipline necessary to the efficient 
practice of the art of war began to appear; and finally the 
young Gustavus Adolphus, coming to the throne of Sweden in 
1611, began the career in arms which was terminated twenty- 
one years later at the battle of Lutzen, and which is adjudged 
by Colonel Dodge to have made the first notable advance in 
the art of war since the death of Caesar. Like the latter, 
Gustavus carried his plan of campaign through on a well- 
considered plan. He instituted the modern method of estab- 
lishing a strong base from which to move into an enemy's 
country, of securing communication with it, and of accu- 
mulating supplies in sure places ; he established discipline 
which was the marvel of his day, supplied the wants of his 
forces legitimately without robbery or rapine, and paid them 
regularly and won to himself the peoples of the countries 
which he traversed by humanity and kindness, the opposite 
of the treatment of them like brute beasts which for centuries 
had been their lot with conquerors. When necessary he 
avoided battle on unfavorable terms by judicious strategy ; he 
led the enemy away from key points to occupy them himself; 
he was a master of tactics, and a whirlwind in battle. His 
motives were pure and high, his pursuit of them "steadfast, 
noble, openhanded, courageous and discreet"; he "re-created 
methodical, systematic, intellectual war." 

A passage in a letter of 1893 to the present writer from 
Colonel Dodge in Paris concerning his estimate of Gustavus 
Adolphus throws light upon his method of estimating the rank 
of his great captains. Adverting to the criticism in a review 
of his book, that he had not given sufficient importance to what 


had been contributed by the Prince of Orange to the art of 
war, he wrote : 

Several authors before have called the House of Orange the origi- 
nators of certain things : so they were, if you like, but they did not cre- 
ate the scheme of modern war, they merely made isolated improvements 
and never wove them into a military whole. One may as well say that 
Napoleon created nothing, because the wonderful men of the French 
Revolution had done so much before him. But as a matter of fact 
nobody seemed to learn by what they did ; even Moreau and Jourdan 
did not; but Napoleon did take their isolated inventions, such as giving 
up tents, feeding on the country instead of by magazines, open order 
(which they got from our American farmers by the way), close attack, 
column, and light troops, and out of these isolated things which did not 
dovetail created a single scheme for all time. 

Now that is precisely what Gustavus did. Undoubtedly some tacti- 
cal, ordnance, logistic, ideas were begun by the Dutchman — and these 
same Dutchmen were a noble lot. . . . What Gustavus did was to take 
a warp twisted by one man and a woof assembled by another, and out 
of the two to weave a pattern of one systematic, far-seeing and success- 
ful campaign, which, though short, has never been surpassed in the 
world, if we weigh the existing conditions and give them their proper 

About three years before, Colonel Dodge, finding himself in 
position to gratify his desire to devote his entire time to his 
historical work, had gone to live in Paris. The zeal which he 
carried to his work there is well shown in other passages in the 
same letter, as follows: 

I have not read Rhodes, nor anything else, since I started in assim- 
ilating the thirty-eight volumes of about eight hundred pages each, small 
type, of Napoleon's correspondence. . . . 

I am sorry that I cannot go to the Military Historical [Society]. let 
alone the Massachusetts Historical [Society], but so long as I am in the 
throes of giving birth to Frederick and Napoleon, it is no use my living 
anywhere else except here. I have got Frederick practically written 
to the opening of the Seven Years War, which is about half, and will 
cover an entire volume, the Seven Years War covering another. I am 
just finishing and getting my charts and illustrations stereotyped tor two 
volumes on Napoleon, which will carry him forward to Friedland, 1807, 
and leave two volumes for the rest of his campaigns. 1 may commence 
type-setting this summer, the galleys being sent over here by Messrs. 
Houghton, Mifllin and Co. 



It appears in the preface to his Napoleon that soon after the 
date of this letter he completed the narrative of Frederick's 
campaigns, but the publication by the Great German General 
Staff of the early volumes of its treatise on Frederick had dis- 
closed new facts gathered by profound research in archives 
inaccessible to the student, which, with its new point of view, 
convinced him that he should await its completion to avail 
himself of the new facts which it should present, and possibly 
to recast his work on Frederick, and therefore, departing from 
the chronological order, he withheld the latter and published 
his work on Napoleon in four volumes. In this work more 
space is given to Napoleon's strategy than to his battle tactics, 
because, although the author terms the latter " wonderful " he 
rates the former as more wonderful and says that the keynote 
of Napoleon's success was " that strategy so led up to battle 
that victory became decisive." The perfection of his strategy 
is summarized in the sentence " No higher praise can be spoken 
than to say that everyone of his campaigns was in a military 
sense properly planned," — praise which, in passing, it may be 
said, is not universally accorded to the invasion of Russia, but 
which few will deny to other campaigns. Military students 
will otherwise but little qualify the fine generalization of 
Colonel Dodge's statement that it was Napoleon " who collated 
all that was done by the other great captains, clothed it in a 
dress fit for our own days, and taught the modern world how 
to make war in perfect form." 

In comparing Napoleon with Frederick he foreshadows his 
estimate of the former. He savs, " In Frederick we recognize 
a man of higher standard than Napoleon reached," not merely 
because Frederick was of all the captains the only one who 
with vastly smaller forces defeated troops equal in quality to 
his own, but he was steadfast in victory and defeat alike, be- 
cause he was so truly a king to his people as well as a soldier, 
and because he so truly merged his own self in the good of 
Prussia. "Napoleon flared like a comet, Frederick burned 
like a planet or a fixed star — less brilliant, less startling, but 
ever constant. Frederick at the close of his life was the same 
great man, Napoleon had burned out his lamp. . . . Frederick, 
like Hannibal, was greater in disaster than in success." In 
concluding the chapter from which these passages are quoted 
the author classifies his great captains thus: 

1909.] MEMOIR OF THEODORE AYRAULT D< >1)<a:. 219 

Alexander, the First Teacher of Systematic War. 

Hannibal, Father of Strategy. 

Ca;sar, the Organizer. 

Gustavus Adolphns, Father of Modern War. 

Frederick, the Battle Tactician. 

Napoleon, the Perfect Strategist. 

Colonel Dodge repeatedly disclaims offering his books 
being suitable for technical instruction. His method of 
cussion, and the absence of citations of authorities by chapter 
or page indicate that he does not offer his views in adjudica 
of historical controversies. They have not all been accepted. 
Nor is it universally agreed that the six captains selected by 
him are the only ones of the first rank, for it has been ques- 
tioned whether Turcnne and Marlborough were not as great 
as Gustavus: and again it has been urged that in a compari- 
son of the military deeds of a sovereign ruler like Gustavus 
or Frederick or Napoleon, whose military plans ruled the state 
policy, with the efforts of a Turenne thwarted by Mazarin or 
Louvois, or of a Marlborough restrained by the vetoes of the 
Dutch Republic, strictly military merit is placed at a dis- 
advantage. But there is no question that, whether with or 
without compeers, the six great captains belong in the rank in 
which he places them, and that the history of the art of war 
during the period covered by his work is found in their deeds. 

The eight great volumes which have been published consti- 
tute a worthy monument to the learning, industry and analyti- 
cal ability of the author. Their production was worthy of the 
ordinary labor of a lifetime. In writing them in so few years 
the author worked at a white heat. Although he thus un- 
avoidably sacrificed something of the literary finish which ap- 
pealed to his cultivated taste, he succeeded in giving to the 
world a history of war and warriors, in unique form, and with 
a wonderful array of facts, which may fairly be ranked as the 
most important of the works o( American authors in military 

Thai the author's project terminated with 1815 was prob- 
ably due to the opinion that the career of the later mil 
leaders could not yet be viewed in a perspective sufficient for 
measuring them by those oi' former generations. The l l la 
ment in the practice of strategy and battle tactics which 
1815 has been made possible by the invention of steaml oats, 


railways, the telegraph and telephone and signal systems, has 
resulted in campaigns of extent and rapidity inconceivable to 
Napoleon or his predecessors, and the advent of rapid firearms 
and long-range cannon, with the concurrent invention of ranks 
of open order, skirmishing and field intrenching, and the use 
of telephone and telegraph, have made battle tactics of a new 

The use of mounted infantry, and of cavalry dismounted 
in line of battle and mounted for swift reconnaissance or raid, 
and rapid strategic movements, impossible with troops on foot, 
such as the despatch by rail of Longstreet's corps from the 
Rapidan in Virginia to Bragg's aid at Chickamauga, the move- 
ment of the Sixth Corps, by water, in two days from Peters- 
burg to Washington to arrive in front of Early just before his 
advance on the works in front of the city ; and the transport 
of Schofield's Corps from Tennessee by river and rail to the 
Potomac and thence by water to North Carolina, eighteen 
hundred miles in twenty-six days, to reinforce Sherman, and 
the mobilization of the German armies in 1870, were features 
of a change in the art of war as important as any before 1815, 
which would have been worthy to take place in a continu- 
ation of Colonel Dodge's " Great Captains." 

The dedication of " Great Captains " is " To the American 
Soldier who, not bred to arms, but nurtured by independence, 
has achieved the proudest rank among the veterans of history." 
This may well have been intended to be more than a tribute of 
friendship from the author to his old comrades. It suggests 
the hope that his work may serve to keep alive in his country- 
men an interest in military art and familiarize them with its 
great principles for the time when such knowledge shall be 
required for the country's defence. 

This view is supported by his frequent allusions to the Amer- 
ican Civil War as " our war " and the parallels which he draws 
between the strategy employed by the generals in that war 
and those of his " Great Captains." In the early passages of this 
kind his admiration of Lee and Stonewall Jackson is conspicu- 
ous, but later it turns to Grant and his lieutenants. To the 
present writer not long ago he said that he had come to see 
that injustice had been done in the estimates of Grant's critics 
in the failure to take into account the fact that in Virginia he 
had to overcome a great adversary at the head -of one of the 


hardest fighting armies in history, and again, in 1904, he said 
that the view expressed in his article on Giant to which I have 
referred had been modified by later studies and that he should 
not care to have its comments on the Wilderness taken as a 
critical discussion of that campaign. 

About the year 1900 Colonel Dodge, finding himself in 
circumstances which permitted him to quit business, estab- 
lished his residence in Paris, as the point most convenient for 
his visits to the fields on which Frederick and Napoleon 
manoeuvred and fought, and for access to the books and 
archives to be consulted in the preparation of his narratives 
of their careers. During the remainder of his life he devoted 
himself to that work. At his residence in Paris a fine hospi- 
tality attracted much and varied company from his large 
acquaintance, and there, between the pleasures of social 
intercourse and the work on his books in the congenial com- 
pany of a talented wife who greatly aided in his work, he 
found, in the enjoyment of an ideal life, reward for the trials 
and stress of his long business career. In 1908, seeking 
relief from an infirmity which had grown upon him, he estab- 
lished his residence in the ancient Chateau de Rozieres, which 
he had acquired, but his health failed further and recrudescence 
of his old wounds impaired his vitality so that for months he 
was unable to resume his narrative of Frederick, a sore trial 
to him, when the official publications for whose appearance he 
had suspended the work were at last at hand. To complete 
this work then became the chief desire of the life that was : .:i 
him. His hopes all centred upon this object and braced his 
feeble frame for recovery. After months without ability to 
take up his pen, he rose from his bed a shadowy embodiment 
of courage and nerve, and once more resumed his reading, able 
to pursue it but for a brief hour a day, and, striving to finish 
his work while yet there was life, he fell, with his harness on, 
as became the soldier that he was. 



The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 13th instant, 
at three o'clock, p. m. ; the President in the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved ; and 
the list of donors to the Library during the last month was 

The President announced the death of George Park Fisher, 
a Corresponding Member, which took place on December 20, 
1909. He reported, for the advisory Committee on the final 
definitive edition of the Bradford and Winthrop Histories, 
that the Editor had reached a point in the preparation of the 
work where he would be able to begin the printing early in 
the coming summer ; and that the Committee had accordingly 
directed him to proceed with the publication. 

Samuel Walker McCall, of Winchester, was elected a Resi- 
dent Member of the Society. 

The President called attention to a paragraph of the notice 
of the meeting wherein reference was made to the fact that its 
date marked the completing of fifty years in the membership 
of the senior Vice-President and Librarian, Dr. Green. In 
doing so he said : 

Personally, this reminder had for me a somewhat curious 
interest, irresistibly reviving certain recollections. The first 
time, I believe, I ever occupied the chair as presiding officer 
of the Society, — I then being its senior Vice-President in 
the last of the ten years' presidency of Dr. Ellis, — was at 
the January meeting of 1891, which occurred on the 11th of 
the month, sixteen years ago Tuesday last. I then took oc- 
casion to remind those present that Rev. Dr. Lucius R. Paige, of 
Cambridge, would, during the following May, round out a 
full half-century of membership. In doing so I said : 

It is a thing for which I take some blame to myself that when Mr. 
Winthrop passed the limit in October, 1889, now more than four years 
ago, and when Mr. Ellis passed it in October, 1891, no notice was taken 


by the Society of events of such interest to us. I hope this will not be 
the case when the third name on our list shall touch the golden period 
in the coming month of May. Nor need the Society apprehend that, if 
the practice should be introduced of noticing an event of this sort when- 
ever the time for so doing may arrive, the thing would become of such 
ordinary occurrence as to sink into a conventional usage. After our 
friend Dr. Paige shall have passed his fiftieth year of service in the 
coming May, an examination of the list shows that no similar event is 
likely to occur until our friend Dr. Green shall arrive, in the year 1910, 
at his eightieth year, should he, as we all hope he may, attain that age. 1 

At the time I said this, there were, I remember, as there have 
just now again been, indications of suppressed amusement on 
the part of those present, the year 1910 seeming, in 1894, so 
very remote. Yet here it is ! But there is to me also a cer- 
tain humor in the present situation, because in that January 
of 1894, when I uttered those words, I recalled that, only a 
short seven months before, in June, 1893, — to be historically 
exact, on Tuesday, the 6th of that month, — I chanced to be 
in Concord, visiting, in company with members of the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society, the historic localities of that place as 
the companions and guests of Senator Hoar. Among those 
there present, as I do not doubt he himself remembers, was 
Dr. Green ; and I recall the occasion the more distinctly 
because, while waiting on the platform of the station at Con- 
cord for others of the party to arrive, Dr. Green took occasion 
to mention to me, in an incidental, pleasant sort of way, that 
he was satisfied he had not then long to live ; that there were 
certain physical indications about him he had of late noticed, 
of a significance unmistakable to a medical man ; and that, in 
fact, his remaining days, practically numbered, would be few. 
Being not wholly unaccustomed to medical prognostics of this 
nature, I am, in view of the present occasion, not unwilling to 
admit that I received the announcement in a spirit of Christian 
resignation and with silent acquiescence, not troubling our 
associate with any anticipatory condolences. Indeed, what 
mattered it? Had not Hamlet assured us that, " if it be now, 
't is not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now ; if 
it be not now, yet it will come : the readiness is all." So, 
upon that June morning sixteen years ago, on the platform 
of the Fitchburg Railroad station in Concord, the Doctor 
1 2 Proc, viii. 399. 


pronounced himself "ready"; and I, in appearance at least, 
showed myself resigned: yet here we are, both of us, bearing 
our parts in this far otherwise than funereal function. 

As I have said, this occurred in June, 1893 ; and during 
the sixteen intervening years not only has the list of those 
once belonging to the Resident membership of this Society, 
but now composing the silent majority, been enlarged by no 
less than eighty-six additional names, but that of Dr. Green is 
not among them. Of those who then composed the Society 
twenty-nine only survive. Conspicuous, first among those 
twenty-nine, is one bearing the name of Green. In the Doc- 
tor's case the " readiness," literally, was " all." 

Once more recurring to the record and my perhaps too 
constant contributions to it, I find that in October, 1896, 
when, as President, it devolved on me to announce the death 
of Dr. Paige, I also alluded to the fact that Dr. Green had 
been promoted to the place just made vacant at the head of the 
Resident roll, 1 becoming our senior member ; thus to his other 
titles had been added that of Dean of the Society. Measured 
in years, a long stride was then taken. Dr. Ellis, the previous 
Dean also a Harvard graduate, was of the Class of 1833, and 
became a member of the Society in 1841. Dr. Green, who 
thus followed him, was of the Class of 1851, and became a 
member of the Society in 1860. There was, therefore, in 
graduation, the gap of eighteen years between the two ; and, 
in membership, one of nineteen years. 

Passing to the next point suggested by the occasion, when, 
the other day, I came to preparing some statistics on the sub- 
ject of longevity of membership, I found the speech I now would 
have made bodily anticipated, and anticipated by no other than 
by Dr. Green himself ! For, when Dr. Paige, at the May meet- 
ing of 1894, passed his fiftieth year, Dr. Ellis, then President of 
the Society, called attention to the fact ; but it was Dr. Green 
who spoke as follows : 

At the present time the Historical Society has the remarkable dis- 
tinction of bearing on its roll of living members the names of three 
gentlemen whose connection with the Society began at least half a 
century ago. Mr. Winthrop was chosen a member on October 31, 
1839, more than fifty-four years since; and now for twenty-one years 

1 2 Proc, xi. 108. 

1010.] REMARKS OF THE PRE 225 

he has headed the list of membership, irhere the name* are g 
the order of election. Dr. Ellis follows .Mr. Winth 
second, having been chosen on October 28, 1841, 
at the meeting to-day Dr. Paige completes bis 
century with the Society. . . . 

There have been but three other members who ' 
a service to tin; Society,- hut. no! all covering 
fifty years, and they were John Davis, Josiah Quii 
Savage. Mr. Davis's membership lasted from Decembei 21, 1791, 
to January II, 1 H 1 7 , a term of fifty-five years; Mi ( 
July '20, 171H), to .July I, 1864, sixty-eight ye - I Mr. S _ 

from January 28, 1813, to March 8, 1873, Bixty years. S 
of continued membership are necessarily rare, but in all I 
tioned it is worthy of note that they comprise some i 
and valuable workers in the Society during a pei 
century of its existence. 1 

The Doctor then proceeded to say exactly what I 
have said had it devolved on me to prepare 
present occasion. lit; marshalled all the statistics at I 
relating to those of the Society who had attained th< 
year of membership, and submitted other in 
germane to the present, as well as to that, occasion; 
now only repeat his short list of those who, havii 
semi-centennial, were then dead. The first, John Davis; Mr. 
Davis's membership lasted from December 21, 1791, 
ary 14, 1S47, a term of fifty-five years, Next 1 
Quincy, — Josiah Quincy, whose term lasted from J 
1796, to July 1, 1864, Bixty-eight years, Finally, - 1 
Savage; Mr. Savage's term lasted from January 28, 181 . 
March 8, 1873, sixty years. Now let me complete the I 
of the three members then referred to by Di G » si 

living, the membership o[' each o\ whom had already 
out a half-century or more, Mr, VVinthrop, Dr. E 
Dr. Paige. Their deaths have Bince increased the 
semi-centennialists to six. The seventh, I toda] 
tion to, In the long life o( the Society, nuraberii 
no less than four hundred and fifty -seven Residei 
there have thus been, including Dr. Green, just w 
i t. has been given to reaoh the half-centurj 

each sixty-five of those chosen. Of OOUrse, a> this S 

1 'J Proo , ix. 02 


not come into existence until January, 1791, the record of 
possible semi-centennial membership began only with January, 
1841. Thomas Wallcut, the last survivor of the founders, just 
failed to attain the limit, dying in June, 1810. As, during 
the sixty-nine years which have elapsed since the fifty-year 
record thus became possible, seven members only, including 
Dr. Green, have completed it — or, upon an average, a single 
instance to each decennium — I assuredly spoke within strict 
bounds when I said in 1894 that, if the practice should be 
adopted of taking formal notice of these occasions when they 
occurred, no apprehension need be felt that " the thing would 
become of such ordinary occurrence as to sink into a conven- 
tional usage." x Furthermore, it is suggestive of the passing 
character of the membership of even a Society like this, that 
not only so few of those belonging to it have passed the fifty- 
year mark, but that nearly three-quarters of the Society, as it 
stands today — more than sixty-eight per cent of those now 
composing it — were chosen into it since I have been its 
President ; in what, to me, seems a period brief indeed. 

Turning to our Corresponding roll, the record is even more 
striking. In that and the Honorary roll, considered as one, 
and having inscribed upon it nearly a round five hundred 
names, the bearers of just five passed the fifty-year limit. 
Concerning four of these, there can be no question ; in regard 
to the fifth, question might be raised : but, all distinguished 
men, each attained great age. 

The first of the five is Noah Webster; becoming a Corre- 
sponding Member in 1792, he died in 1843. The next was 
Benjamin Silliman ; a Corresponding Member from 1808, he 
died in 1864. The third, Eliphalet Nott, becoming, a Corre- 
sponding Member in 1813, died in 1866. Fourth, Gulian 
Crommelin Verplanck, a Corresponding Member from 1820, 
died in 1870, completing exactly fifty years. It remains only 
to refer to the last of the five. 

President Quincy stands forth the Nestor of the Society, his 
term of membership covering close upon sixty-eight years. 
James Savage follows, with over sixty years. Finally, last of 
the five on the Corresponding roll, comes George Bancroft. 
Elected a Resident Member June 26, 1834, Mr. Bancroft 
ceased to be such in 1849 because of removal from the Com- 

1 2 Proa, viii. 399. 


monwealth. Immediately made a Corresponding Member, 

name appeared on that roll until his death, January 17. 1891, 
His name was thus borne on one or the other of our rolls fifty- 
six years, six months and twenty-two days, a period exceeded 
only by Josiah Quincy and James Savage. They compose a 
truly remarkable trio, — one in which longevity combines 
with distinction. Nor is it to me the least interesting, and I 
might even term it impressive, feature of today's occasion 
that, in it, the twentieth century stands, so to speak, linked 
visibly with the eighteenth. The memberships of President 
Quincy and Dr. Green overlapped each other by more than 
four years, — from January, 1860, to July, 18*54. The mem- 
bership of President Quincy began in 1796; that of Dr. Green 
is yet to end. 

And now, as a matter of record, I call attention to the fact 
that, Dr. Green having rounded out the full half-century of 
unbroken connection, seventh so to do in the long roll of our 
Resident membership, the Society observes another Golden 

Dr. Green has the floor. 

In reply Dr. Green spoke as follows: 

j cannot say, Mr. President, as maidens sometimes do, " This 
is so sudden," inasmuch as you gave me timely notice that 1 
should be called on at this meeting to give a few personal 
reminiscences. It is true that tifty years have come and gone 
since I was chosen a member of the Society. As I look hack 
over this half-century, it does not seem to he a very long 
period of time; but to look forward even ten years seems a 
great way ahead. Gazing into the future our sight soon dims, 
and we see only so far as our reason tells us what is likely to 
happen; but in retrospective vision we see what actually has 
taken place, and there is no perspective adjustment to be 
made. A man's hindsight is clearer than his foresight, and it 
is easier to slide down hill than to climb up. 

In the ordinary course of events this golden anniversary 
would have occurred last month and last year, as 1 w as nomi- 
nated for membership at the meeting in November, 1859, Oi 
course I was not supposed to know anything about the nomi- 
nation, but as a matter o( fact I did know that it had been 
made. One day in November as I was going into the Athe- 


nreum, I met in the large hall a prominent member of the 
Historical Society just as he was coming out of the building, 
and he greeted me cordially. We stopped for a moment or 
two to exchange the time of day, as the saying is, when he told 
me confidentially that I had been nominated for membership, 
at the same time adding that I must not mention the fact to a 
living body. I knew perfectly well when the next meeting 
would be held, and I awaited the result with fear and anxiety. 
The second Thursday in December passed, and several more 
days, and no official notification came from the Corresponding 
Secretary ; and I felt sure that I had been rejected, perhaps on 
account of my youth, as I should have been the youngest 
member in the Society. A few more days passed, when one 
evening I was calling at the house of a kinsman, a member 
of the Society ; and with some hesitation I mentioned the 
subject to him and told him my inference that I had been 
blackballed at the December meeting. He at once relieved 
my disturbed mind by saying that on account of a severe 
snowstorm on that day and the small attendance of members 
there had been no balloting. He said that there were not 
persons enough present to secure an election, and furthermore 
in all probability that it would be brought about at the 
January meeting, which turned out to be true. 

At the time of my election the Library occupied the two 
upper stories of the three-story building at No. 30 Tremont 
Street, which was owned by the Society, having been bought 
early in 1856 of the Provident Institution for Savings. A 
fifteen-year lease of the lower story was then taken by the 
Suffolk Savings Bank, which ran till March, 1871 ; and in the 
year 1872 the Society erected on the same site a new build- 
ing which is still familiar to many of the members. This 
structure was in process of erection at the time of the Great 
Fire in November, 1872. A large wooden staircase, with one 
broad stair half-way up where there was a turn, started at 
the left of the entry and led to the Library ; and the entrance 
to the Savings Bank was under the stairs at the right of the 
entry. At the broad stair half-way up was a blind closet with- 
out light, gas-jet or ventilation even, which was not objection- 
able to the eye, but at times in warm weather was decidedly 
so to the sensitive nerves of the nose. 

On entering the Library at the head of the stairs there were 


two large rooms not much unlike tho e in the lat i 
the first was generallj Bpokeu of as the J. 
as the Dowse Room, planned substantial 
today, though now it is somewhat enlarged. Al ih I 

the cabinet was kepi in a show-case which r< 
table in the front, room or library ; and the articli 
lion were comparatively few in number. Am 
specimens were Washington's epaulettes j the suit 
worn by Franklin in the year of his i 
of Alliance between Prance and the I ni I S 
ary, 1778; Prescott's noctograph ; tea pi' • 
Neck (.n December 17, 1 77;;. i be morning after the B 
Party ; Paul Revere's pistol ; Philip's samp d 
other articles too numerous to mention. 
My election into the Society took place i 
January 12, 1860, and yesterday was the annh 
day. I find it difficult now to realize the fa< I thi 
century has passed since that date. My first atti 

at a special meeting held at the house of I>.. Jacob 
on .January 25, to take suitable action on the 
Macaulay, an Honorary Member of the S 
occasion Governor Emory Washburn, chairman of t 
ing Committee, offered a set of resolutions, which w< 
seconded by Mr. Everett, who spoke of the distil 
scholar and statesman, and also gave an ac 
son a] relations with the great historian. 

My first attendance at a stated meeting was I U i 

when, as 1 reineinher well, Mr. Savage Cam< U] 

gratulated me on my membership and took ; 
introduce me to a iVw of his friends, saying that 1 

baby oi' the Society, a term which he S01XN 
later period. I knew Mr. Savage's Onlj 

was in college with me, but not in my class ; and 
quaintanceship, perhaps, oaused him to take more 
in me than he otherwise would have taken. 1 

in the country we were neighbors, as Mr. SaVfl 

residence was at Lunenburg, and mj father's hon 
ten miles away, just far enough to serve aa i 
butting in unexpectedly at dinner, where 1 was 
oome guest. Mr. Savage had the art of using 
language in a way that did not shook his hearers I:, q 


ing of Cotton Mather at one of the meetings I have heard 
him pass a judgment on the Boston minister that excited 
more merriment than criticism. 

At this stated meeting in February, the first I ever attended, 
I remember distinctly the presence of the venerable Josiah 
Quincy, who then was one of the most distinguished person- 
ages in the Commonwealth. He had been a member of Con- 
gress for several terms and the President of Harvard College 
for many years, and in earlier life the Great Mayor of Boston. 
He was widely known throughout the country as a public 
man and a scholar ; and in his lineage he was directly con- 
nected with noted Revolutionary ancestry. My thoughts 
went back to the time when he gave his last reception at the 
President's house in Cambridge on Commencement Day in 
1845. As a boy it fell to my lot, together with Theodore 
Chase, an elder brother of our late associate George B. Chase, 
to be present on that occasion. I remember well how we two 
lads joined in the procession and passed out of the room ; 
and then boy -like, bent on doing something absurd, we turned 
round and joined the procession again at the other end and for 
the second time shook hands with Mr. Quincy, who had some 
kind words for us. This puerile act we performed for the 
third time without detection, and we both then thought that 
it was very funny. When I was seated in the same room 
with Mr. Quincy, the recollection of that juvenile prank and 
the absurdity of the whole affair came back to me as if it w r ere 
but of the day before instead of happening fifteen years earlier. 

At this February meeting Mr. Quincy gave to the Library a 
manuscript relating to the French West Indies, which had 
been sent to him many years before, when he was in Congress. 
Two months later he also gave " A Plan of the Town and 
Chart of the Harbour of Boston exhibiting a View of the 
Islands Castle Forts and Entrances into the said Harbour." 
This map appeared originally in " The Gentleman's Maga- 
zine " (London) for January, 1775, though in the lower mar- 
gin it is dated "February, 1775," at the very time when 
General Gage was making his plans to meet* any disturbances 
that might arise. At that period Boston filled a very promi- 
nent place in English history as it was then the scene of so 
many political outbreaks. I remember distinctly that Mr. 
Quincy spoke of the misspelling of certain place-names on the 


map, such as Roxburgh for Roxbury, and f ^ i 
I can recollect a] o seeing him at on< 
when be did oot Bpeak. 

At this period Mr. Quincy was nearl) a 
man who bad filled some of the most conspi 10 i 
political and academic life. In the community 
respected for his personal worth and many ■ 
He was a fine type of a gentleman of the old 
would attract attention in an) assembly. Ii U 
days to see a man who by general consen 
in public estimation. At the age of twenty-thi 
a in e in ber of the Society, on July 26, IT 
it was formed. lie must have known tl. 
hers, the founders as the) are called, 

others who had heeii chosen I 

election he was the I hirty-sixth member of the S 

the time of his election not a death had tab 

the thirty-five already chosen. It see ma sometimes is .i the 

calm and placid life of antiquaries and h.- 

contributed to their health and longevity. 

At the following Annual Meeting which was 
I was chosen Cabinet-Keeper, by which election I 
member of (lie Standing Committee, a^ it was 

At that period all nominal ions came from this . which in 

its various functions corresponded exactly to what is 
now as the Council. Owing to my position I 

Keeper in the autumn <A' I860 Mr. Winthrop W 

to ask me to he at the Society's rooms win . I 

Wales and his Mute visited them. I Nine::. 

was on October 1 9, the anniversary of th< a i i 

wallis at Yorktowu, though this fact was 
any one showing the treasures of the r. 
party, aooompanied by Mr, Winthrop and M 
visiting Harvard College and Bunker II. . Monu 

to the Historical rooms, where the) 

other members of t he Sooiel y . lie 

were shown to the distinguished visitors, and th< wl 

passed off successfully. The Trim e 

in tin 4 manuscript 1 [istor) of N i 

Winthrop, which be examined with oare, ki i 
author was the aucestor of our Presideut 11 


an interest in Washington's epaulettes which were given to 
the Society by one of the General's aids. At that time the 
epaulettes were kept with other objects of interest in the large 
show-case, but soon afterward, at the suggestion of Mr. Win- 
thro p, a handsome box was made specially for their keeping. 
Before the party left the rooms the Prince signed the Visitors' 
Register, and he called on his retinue to write their names 
also; which was accordingly done. The leaf bearing these 
signatures, headed by the present King of England, might 
well be framed, placed behind glass and hung in the cabinet, 
where it would form a permanent object of interest. 

Another distinguished visitor came to the rooms, on Decem- 
ber 3, 1868, when Mr. Winthrop did the honors of the occa- 
sion, which always came so gracefully from him. It was 
General U. S. Grant, President-elect of the United States, who, 
according to popular report, was then in Boston to consult 
with certain persons prominent in the Republican party con- 
cerning the new administration. It was a cold raw day, and 
the General writing his name with some difficulty rather apolo- 
gized for the signature, and said that he ought to have made 
his mark instead. Whereupon Mr. Winthrop at once replied, 
" General, you have already made your mark, and it is not 
necessary to do it again." This little incident, well enough 
in its way, may seem trifling and unimportant ; and I can give 
no reason why it made an impression on my brain, but as a 
psychological fact it stuck, and now I repeat it. 

During my connection with the Society there have been 226 
elections of Resident Members, and of this number now only 
94 remain. The average number of elections annually is about 
five, but in the year 1861 there were ten members chosen, and 
in 1903 eight chosen; and in 1887 no death occurred in the 
membership. Under the original Act of Incorporation the 
number of Associate Members was limited to sixty, but under 
a supplementary act, passed April 2, 1857, the number was 
increased to one hundred. For three or four years after this 
act was passed, owing to the change, the number of annual 
elections was much larger than usual. According to a list of 
all the Resident Members, printed in 1908, the average age at 
the time of their death was seventy years, which confirms to an 
interesting degree the words of the Psalmist that " The da} r s 
of our years are threescore years and ten." According to this 

1010. i 

li i . at the time of their <I«-ath, John A 
fifty yeai B ' 

( laleudar yeai s maj 
along I hi i 

hut thej i hi "ii the end 

trudge aloi ■ and pa 
yeard ■ ■ i om liorter. L 
he look t ahead and lia \ no ■ 
life i pi esenl and is of U *la ■. . and he 
forward wit h equal intei 
i he octo ■• tnarian, a liose rani I 

oompo kite made up of man} incidi 
horizon of memory. I am thankful 
from the w ord go, and I i l<>"k on tb< 

things. The w orld as ;i w hole i-^ b< I 
fifty years ago, and an advance a 
to be made. I lappj ia the man \\ ho liv< 
the Burrounding e\ enl \ ; and hie ■ 
on t lie oondii ion of his In 

( lolonel W, II. Livrrm* >re rea 1 
ohapter of hia ll Stor} of the Civil W 
in", is a summary i 

The battle of ( !orinth, < October 8 and 1, 1€ 
Grant Prom an} . For the 

and "ii the 26th he 
vanoe on V iok ibui ■ . On I N 

amount in \ to about fift j *e\ en t)i< 
duty, were stationed i I tnth, Mem] 
and he w aaoj »po ed bj Pei 

Band near Holly Springs, and on the l R 

thousand at \ icksburg and oth( i 
oember ( I rant had ad> ai 
men as Far r lat I he I hi.,. h ivii 
Then, heai in"; that Md Demand, an i i 
once oommanded b di\ iai< 
mand of an expedit ion to descend th< M 
fleet . t ir.mi ohan fed his plan and w I 9 
ii\ er from Memphis, w ith ab 
ai Helena h\ thirteen thousand 



about thirty thousand, remained on the original line of opera- 
tions overland. In Grant's Memoirs 1 he explains his motive 
and plans. He hoped to hold Pemberton in his front, while 
Sherman should get in his rear and into Vieksburg. The 
further north Pemberton could be held the better. 

Grant's object was either to capture Vieksburg by surprise, 
or to establish a large force on the upland, where it could be in 
touch with the fleet, and be supplied by water without expos- 
ing the vessels to the fire of the batteries at Vieksburg. If he 
could get possession of Haynes's Bluff on the Yazoo just north 
of Vieksburg, the supply boats could come up this river from 
the Mississippi ; but Grant knew that the Confederates were 
building batteries there which would control the navigation 
of the Yazoo. In order to reduce them he was sending 
Sherman with a large force down the Mississippi to attack the 
position in front, while he himself with a somewhat smaller 
one was to engage the attention of Pemberton's army on the 

This division of Grant's forces was certainly not in accord- 
ance with the general principles of strategy, for it gave Pem- 
berton, who held the interior lines, an opportunit}^ to throw all 
his forces upon either fraction of Grant's army. It has been 
said in favor of the plan adopted that neither fraction was 
large enough to meet any hostile force that could be brought 
against it ; that, if unsuccessful, Sherman could fall back on 
the fleet on the Mississippi River and Grant upon his base to the 
north. This, however, would not accomplish the object of 
the expedition. General Sherman says, 2 that the essence of 
the whole plan was for him to reach Vieksburg, as it were, by 
surprise, while Grant held in check Pemberton's army about 
Grenada, leaving Sherman to contend only with the smaller 
garrison of Vieksburg. It is hard to see how either Grant or 
Sherman could have thought that in a hostile country such an 
expedition could be fitted out and embark without the knowl- 
edge of the enemy. 

Without discussing further the division of responsibility for 
this plan, it is suggested that it would have been better for 
Grant to take Sherman's troops with him, to advance in force 
along the line on which he had started, and to send only the 
troops that could be spared from Helena down the Mississippi 
1 i. 430. 2 Sherman, i. 313. 


with the fleet, which if it did not meet with too much resist- 
ance would move up the Yazoo ; or, if this were impossible, 
would await the arrival of Grant from the north, or of the ex- 
pedition to ascend the Mississippi from the south. Grant, as 
he suggests, would establish a secondary base at Grenada, and 
repair the railroad between that point and Memphis. Further 
south the enemy would probably destroy the railroad as they 
fell back and he could not depend upon it for his supplies. A 
good wagon road, however, leads along the divide between the 
Yazoo and Black Rivers, which is comparatively dry even in 
wet weather, and in many places the fields on either side of 
the road are passable for wagons. He could, as he says, cut 
loose from his base, live on the country, and march straight 
for Vicksburg, driving Pemberton's army before him or rout- 
ing it. He would then, in all probability, take Haynes's Bluff 
in the rear, meet Porter, and draw his supplies from the 
Mississippi. If, however, he failed, he would fall back upon 
Grenada and then advance more slowly, repairing the railroad 
if necessary. His troops would have hard work before them, 
but not as hard nor as unhealthy as that which they endured 
on the banks of the Mississippi during the winter and spring. 
Grant's army assembled at Grenada would be better disposed 
for co-operating with the Army of the Cumberland than if the 
greater part of it were on the banks of the Mississippi near 

This plan is similar to that on which Grant started the cam- 
paign, and to one afterward urged by Sherman, because it 
was in accordance with the fundamental principles of strategy. 
We think that the campaigns which followed from the first 
division of forces up to the surrender of Vicksburg will be bet- 
ter understood by comparison with the plan we have suggested. 

The first attempt to take Vicksburg had failed, because 
a detachment of a few hundred men was too weak to capture 
and hold a fortress in the heart of the enemy's country de- 
fended by twice its number. The second attempt had tailed 
because Butler could not send a large force up the river with- 
out endangering New Orleans and Farragut's fleet, as well as 
his own army, and because Halleck had divided up the great 
army he had assembled at Corinth so that he was too weak to 
co-operate with Farragtit. The third attempt failed, because 
Grant after starting on a campaign over land, sent halt his 


command down the river in hopes of capturing Vicksburg 
before the enemy should suspect his purpose. When Grant 
was authorized to use the troops in his command as he deemed 
best, he should have made the expedition down the river very 
large or very small. One fraction or the other should have 
been large enough to overcome all opposition, either by follow- 
ing the overland route, or by descending the river to Vicks- 
burg and crossing the point of land on the western bank so as 
to land at the foot of the bluffs below the city. By dividing 
his army in halves, and giving Pemberton the interior lines, 
he put it in his power to dispose of his troops as he wished, 
and meet the attacks if they were skilfully made ; and, if not, 
to take advantage of any mistake to throw all his forces upon 
a portion of Grant's and beat the several fractions in turn. 
Both Grant and Sherman escaped without serious loss, but 
with no material gain, and Vicksburg, which had been almost 
within the grasp of the Federal fleets and armies from May to 
December of 1862, was not taken until the 4th of July, 1863. 

Professor Haynes read the following note : 

At the November meeting of the Society, 1907, Mr. Albert 
Matthews described certain documents he had found bound 
up with a volume of " The Boston News-Letter " now owned 
by the Boston Athenaeum. Among them was 

a broadside containing a Latin poem in thirty-three lines headed 
" Martij 27, 1712." They are addressed to [Samuel] Sewall, are 
signed U N. Hobart," — the Rev. Nehemiah Hobart (H. C. 1667), — 
and are followed by two Latin lines signed " S. S." 1 

I was not present at that meeting ; if I had been, I should 
have called attention to the fact that the broadside had been 
printed in full in the " Letter-Book of Samual Sewall," 2 and 
that the Latin poem is thus referred to by Sewall in his 
Diary : 

I give him [Mr. Hobart] Virgil on account of the Poem he has grati- 
fy'd me with. 8 

The reprint of the poem was accompanied by a translation 
into English verse by Richard Henchman. The broadside 
I found among the collections of the Boston Public Library, 

1 3 Proa, i. 20G ; 2 6 Coll., i. 315 ; 85 Coll., vi. 346. 


and the English versos in a manuscript also preserved I 
There is a copy of the broadside also among our own collec- 
tions. As I omitted to state where I found tl irious 
documents, when I printed them, in L886, 1 offer this 
note upon the passage in the " Letter-Book," as above cited. 

Mr. Howe communicated the following paper: 

The Capture op some Fugitive Veb 

Our junior Vice-President lias shown by precept and ex- 
ample to what good uses the newspapers of earlier d - 
be put by the seeker for the materials of history. It would he 
equally impertinent and unnecessary to attempt to bring 
proof of the value of these sources. Yet it may not be o 
place to present an illustration, which came not loi 
my notice, of the way in which old magazines may throw - 
lights upon history. The illustration, moreover, has a certain 
timeliness in that it has to do with the welcome 
an American explorer just returned from a region which at 
the beginning of the nineteenth century seemed nearly i - 
away as the North Pole seems to-day, — namely, Caj 
Meriwether Lewis. 

It has recently fallen to me to make some examination o( 
a magazine published in Boston from 1803 to 1811, " 1 
Monthly Anthology," conducted, from 1805 to the end, 
club of which the minutes are in the possession of this v - 
ciety. To the Anthology Society, it is well known, ;:. Bos! . 
Athenaeum owes its origin. In the issue ol " The M< 
Anthology" for March, 1807, appeared a poem, like all the 
contributions to the magazine, without signature, " On the 
Discoveries of Captain Lewis." Immediately over it was 
printed this note to the editors : 

The following " elegant and glowing Btansaa " are not from the pen 

Of Mr. Harlow; nor wore thev recited DJ Mr. Becklej e : 

dinner," given by the Citiiens of Washington to Captain l.« 

Sec National Intelligencer L6 Jctnu . 18 

Turning to this newspaper, 1 found that on Wed:., S 
14th of January the citizens o( Washington had indeed .. 
Captain Lewis a dinner, "as an expression of their 


respect and affection, of their high sense of the services he has 
rendered his country, and of their satisfaction at his return in 
safety into the bosom of his friends." The names of the 
President and Vice-Presidents of the occasion, with those of 
others present, are then given ; and the newspaper goes on 
to say: 

Capt. Lewis was received with liveliest demonstrations of regard. 
Every one present seemed to be deeply impressed with a sentiment of 
gratitude, mingled with an elevation of mind, on setting down, at the 
festive board, with this favorite of fortune, who has thus successfully 
surmounted the numerous and imminent perils of a tour of nearly four 
years, through regions previously unexplored by civilized man. 

After partaking of the gratifications of a well spread board, the fol- 
lowing toasts were drank, interspersed with appropriate songs and 
instrumental music. 

Seventeen regular toasts, in a vein of high enthusiasm, are 
recorded, then one " On Captain Lewis's retiring," followed 
by several offerings from " Volunteers." The cup of invention, 
though perhaps of nothing else, must have been nearly drained 
when one of the Volunteers proposed, " May those who explore 
the desart never be deserted." 

For the present purpose these items are of less moment than 
the statement, to which the anonymous contributor to the 
" Anthology " referred, that, " At an early period of the en- 
tertainment, the following elegant and glowing stanzas, from 
the pen of Mr. Barlow, were recited by Mr. Beckley " : 

On the Discoveries of Captain Lewis. 

Let the Nile cloak his head in the clouds, and defy 

The researches of science and time; 
Let the Niger escape the keen traveller's eye, 

By plunging, or changing his clime. 

Columbus! not so shall thy boundless domain 

Defraud thy brave sons of their right : 
Streams, midlands and shorelands illude us in vain, 

We shall drag their dark regions to light. 

Look down, sainted sage, from thy synod of Gods; 

See, inspired by thy venturous soul, 
Mackensie roll northward his earth draining floods, 

And surge the broad waves to the pole. 

With the same soaring genius thy Lewis ascends, 

And, seizing the car of the sun, 
O'er the sky-propping hills and high waters he bends, 

And gives the proud earth a new zone. 


Potowmak, Ohio, Missouri had felt 

Half her globe in their cincture comprest; 
His long curving course has completed the belt, 

And tamed the last tide of the west. 

Then hear the loud voice of the nation proclaim, 

And all ages resound the decree : 
Let our Occident stream bear the young hero's name 

Who taught him his path to the sea. 

These four brother floods, like a garland of flowers, 

Shall entwine all our states in a band, 
Conform and confederate their wide spreading powers, 

And their wealth and their wisdom expand. 

From Darien to Davis one garden shall bloom, 

Where war's wearied banners are furl'd; 
And the far-scenting breezes that waft its perfume, 

Shall settle the storms of the world. 

Then hear the loud voice of the nation proclaim, 

And all ages resound the decree : 
Let our Occident stream bear the young hero's name, 

Who taught him his path to the sea. 

The author of " The Columbiad," which appeared in this 
very year of 1807, had indeed found in Captain Lewis a theme 
which moved the wings of his muse to a dazzling flight. If 
his hearers were duly impressed, it is evident that the copy of 
his poem in print fell under critical eyes. The verses in " The 
Monthly Anthology," bearing the same title as those by the 
patriotic bard, came from a reader who looked upon Joel 
Barlow and Captain Lewis alike without illusions. They 
were anonymous, but it is a happy circumstance that in the 
bound volumes of the magazine preserved in the Athenaeum, 
to which they must have been transmitted by the editors of 
"The Monthly Anthology" itself, signatures in manuscript 
have been appended to many of the contributions. Under the 
poem about to be read appears the name "J. Q. Adams." 

If the lines are otherwise known to be his, I have not dis- 
covered the fact. The burden of proof against this ascription 
of authorship lies upon some better authority than that of an 
editor of a periodical who may be presumed to have known the 
true names of the contributors. In any ease the general liveli- 
ness of the rhymes and the freedom o( their references to Jef- 
ferson, whose embargo Adams was about to support, make 
them worth reselling, with all their amusing footnotes, from 
the rarely explored pages o( the extinct periodical: 




For the Anthology. 

GOOD people, listen to my tale, 

'Tis nothing but what true is; 
I'll tell you of the mighty deeds 

Achiev'd by Captain Lewis — 
How starting from the Atlantick slfbre 

By fair and easy motion, 
He journied, all the way by land, 

Until he met the ocean. 

Heroick, sure, the toil must be 

To travel through the woods, sir; 
And never meet a foe, yet save 

His person and his goods, sir! 
What marvels on the way he found 

He'll tell you, if inclin'd, sir — 
But / shall only now disclose 

The things he did not find, sir. 

He never with a Mammoth met, 

However you may wonder; 
Nor even with a Mammoth's bone, 

Above the ground or under — 
And, spite of all the pains he took 

The animal to track, sir, 
He never could o'ertake the hog 

With navel on his back, sir. 

And from the day his course began, 

Till even it was ended, 
He never found an Indian tribe 

From Welchmen straight descended 
Nor, much as of Philosophers 

The fancies it might tickle; 
To season his adventures, met 

A Mountain, sous'd in pickle. 

He never left this nether world— (2) 

For still he had his reason — 
Nor once the waggon of the sun 

Attempted he to seize on. 
To bind a Zone about the earth 

He knew he was not able — 
They say he did — but, ask himself, 

He'll tell you 'tis a fable. 

He never dreamt of taming tides, (3) 

Like monkeys or like bears, sir — 
A school, for teaching floods to flow, 

Was not among his cares, sir — 
Had rivers ask'd of him their path, 

They had but mov'd his laughter — 
They knew their courses, all, as well 

Before he came as after. 


(1) There are come understandings, graduated on such a scale, that it may be 
necessary to inform them, that our intention is not to depreciate the merits of 
Captain Lewis's publick services. We think highly of the spirit and judgment, 
with which he has executed the duty undertaken by him, and we rejoice at the 
rewards bestowed by congress upon him and his companions. But we think 
with Mr. John Randolph, that there is a bombast in Politicks, as well as in 
Poetry; and Mr. Barlow's "elegant and glowing stanzas" have the advantage of 
combining both. 

(2) " With the same soaring genius, thy Lewis ascends, 
" And seizing the Car of the Sun, 
11 O'er the sky-propping hills, and high-waters he bends, 
" And gives the proud earth a new zone. 1 " 

Thus sweetly sings the soaring genius of Barlow. He has in this stanza ob- 
tained an interesting victory over verse. He has brought zone and sun to rhyme 
together ; which is more than ever was attempted by his great predecessor in 
psalmody, Sternhold. 

(3) " His long curving course has completed the belt, 
" And tamed the last tide of the West. 

" Then hear the loud voice of the nation proclaim, 

" And all ages resound the decree, 
"Let our Occident stream bear the 3'oung hero's name, 

"Who taught him his path to the sea." Barlow's Stanzas. 

Here the young hero is exhibited in the interesting character of schoolmaster 
to a river; and the proposition, that the river should take his name by way of 


And must we then resign the hope 

These Elements of changing? 
And must we still, alas ! be told 

That after all his ranging, 
The Captain could discover nought 

But Water in the Fountains V 
Must Forests still be form'd of Trees V 

Of Rugged Rocks the Mountains ? 

We never will be so fubb'd off, 

As sure as I 'ra a sinner! 
Come — let us all subscribe, and ask 

The hero to a dinner — 
And Barlow stanzas shall indite — 

A bard, the tide who tames, sir — 
And if we cannot alter things, 

By G — , we '11 change their names, sir! 

Let old Columbus be once more 

Degraded from his glory; 
And not a river by his name 

Remember him in story — 
For what is old Discovery 

Compar'd to that which new is ? 
Strike — strike Columbia river out, 

And put in — river Lewis! 

Let dusky Sally henceforth bear 

The name of Isabella; 
And let the mountain, all of salt, 

Be christen' d Monticella — 
The hog with navel on his back 

Tom Pain may be when drunk, sir — 
And Joel call the Prairie-dog. 

Which once was call'd a Skunk, sir. 

And when the wilderness shall yield (4) 

To bumpers, bravely brimming, 
A nobler victory than men ; — 

While all our heads are swimming, 
We '11 dash the bottle on the wall 

And name (the thing's agreed on) 
Our first-rate-ship United States, 

The flying frigate Fredon. 

True — Tom and Joel now, no more 

Can overturn a nation ; 
And work, by butchery and blood, 

A great regeneration ; — 
Yet, still we can turn inside out 

Old Nature's Constitution, 
And bring a Babel back of names — 

Huzza! for revolution ! 

Mr. Matthews communicated the following paper : 

Thomas Paine and the Declaration of Independence. 

In a work printed in 1809 Stephen C. Carpenter wrote of 
Jefferson that " to him the credit of drawing up the Declara- 
tion of Independence has been, perhaps more generally than 
truly, given by the public. , ' i A statement like this, found in 

payment for his tuition, appears so modest and reasonable, that we should make 
no objection, were it not that the wages must be deducted from the scanty pit- 
tance of poor Columbus. He has already been so grossly defrauded by the name 
of this hemisphere, that we cannot hear with patience a proposal to strip him 
of that trifling substitute of a river, which had so late and so recently been 
bestowed upon him. 

We invite the attention of the reader to the rare modesty of Mr. Barlow him- 
self, who, in committing this spoliation upon the fame of Columbus, does not even 
allow him the chance of an adjudication, . . but undertakes, by self-created 
authority, to make proclamation for the whole nation, and to pronounce the 
decree for all ages ! 

(4) " Victory over the wilderness, which is more interesting, than that over 
men." — Barlow's Toast at the Dinner. 

1 Memoirs of Jefferson, i. 11. 

In the Menzies Catalogue (p. 66), prepared by Sabin in 1875, is quoted a pas- 
sage from some source not specified from which the following extract is taken : 

A small number of copies — I think twenty — were bound, and one of them 
was brought to the late Samuel M. Hopkins, then a young lawyer in Auburn, 



a work so libellous, it is said, that neither printer nor publisher 
dared put his name on the titlepage, and of which all but 
about twenty copies are alleged to have been suppressed, is 
too vague for serious discussion. Within the past few years, 
however, attempts have been made to show that Thomas 
Paine had a hand in the actual drafting of the Declaration. 
In 1899 Ellery Sedgwick wrote: 

Paine was now a marked mau to those who knew the authorship of 
Common Sense ; and Jefferson, whose iutimacy with him dates from 
this time, seems to have sought his advice concerning the language 
of the instrument. There is little evidence to show that words of 
Paine's were actually incorporated by Jefferson; but his influence 
appeared in a fine passage of the preliminary draft denouncing slavery. 
This clause was born before its time, and did not live in the Declara- 
tion of Independence. 1 

In an interesting article called " To the Memory of Thomas 
Paine," which has appeared within a year in a London paper, 
the writer said, " But modern sceptics who contemn the 
abstract idealism of the man who helped to draft the Declara- 
tion of Independence must not be permitted to deceive us." 2 
Still more recently Mr. James M. Dow of Liverpool has 
spoken of " Thomas Paine, who, students now admit, was 
joint author of the American Declaration of Independence." 3 
Finally, in a letter to the present writer dated December 26, 
1909, Mr. Dow asserts that "in this country," that is, Eng- 

N. Y., for his opinion. Mr. Hopkins dipped into the book ; read some twenty 
or thirty pages here and there ; and informed the printer that " he found, on the 
average, a libel to every page." On this the memoir was suppressed. 

The Samuel M. Hopkins (1772-1887) referred to was apparently living in 
New York City in 1809, and seems never to have lived at Auburn, though his 
son (1813-1001) of the same name was long a professor in the Auburn Theo- 
logical Seminary. In an autobiographical sketch written in 1832 and printed in 
1808 in the Publications of the "Rochester Historical Society, II. 1-42, the elder 
Hopkins does not mention the incident narrated above. 

Mr. Worthington C. Ford informs me that Carpenter's book is by no means 
so rare as the statements in auction catalogues indicate. 

1 Life of Thomas Paine, 22. 

2 The Nation, London, May 8, 1909, v. 189. 

8 Notes and Queries, July 17, 1909, 10th Series, xn. 44. 

The substance of the present paper was printed in Notes and Queries of Decem- 
ber 4, 1909, 10th Series, xn. 441-443. In his note to me of December 26, 1909, 
Mr. Dow says that " After inquiring into the facts about the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, I have come to the conclusion tnat you are correct in ascribing its sole 
authorship to Jefferson. " See also Notes and Queries of January 15, 1910, 53. 


land, " the opinion is wide-spread that Paine thor" 

of the Declaration. 

Wc are fill familiar with tin; well-known 
biographer to "claim everything " — if I ma} i tbe 

expression on behalf of the person whose lift 
in^; and with the way in which a proposition, put forward as 
possible, is soon regarded as probable, and Bnall 
a certainty, is not the latter illustrated in I 
Mr. Sedgwick merely suggests that Paine's "influi 
peared in a passage of the preliminary draft a | 
it noted, not adopted; the anonymous writer d that 

Paine, "helped to draft" the Declaration; while Mr. D v 
boldly calls Paine the "joint author" of the D< 
That Paine's "Common Sense," published January 9, ITT . 
exerted a remarkable influence in favor of independ< 
freely admitted by Paine's contemporaries, and 1 
universally acknowledged by historians; but thai Paine I 
any share in the actual drafting of the Declaration 
pende.nce is a totally different matter. Neither* 
writers brings forward any proof in support of his | 
but there can be no doubt that all three hark 
Moncure D. Con way. In 1892 Conway sail that "the De - 
laration embodied every principle he [Paine] had been a- 
ing, and indeed Cobbett is correct in saying that w mav 

have written the Declaration Paine was its author' 1 
that Paine's "first pamphlet ['Common Sense*] had 
the Declaration of Independence." 9 It will be observed I 
these two passages are capable of a double in* 
they may refer to the Declaration as a doc una ei . the 

Declaration as an historical event. B it how< vei lit 
Conway's own statement and that attributed by him 
Cobbett 1 aie alike preposterous. Elsewhere in tl 

1 The date usually given is Jan u try 10, 1776, \n 
advertised in the Pennsylvania Journal >>f thai date Bui ai 
dated " Philadelphia, January 9, 1776 " wat inserted in tin " : 

Post of January 9, 1770 | n 16), which begins, " rHIS daj iraa ] 
now selling by Roberl Bell, In riiir.l street | i 
SENSE addressed i>> the inn ibi i uj ra of Ami bica 

SUBJECTS." Attention w;is called to c i 

quoted, in Tyler's Literary History of the American R< 

- Life of Paine, i, si • ! i «.m." 

1 Where Cobltett makes this statement, l do not I 
of Paine, published in 1796, nor m fhomaa Paine; i Ski 


work Conway attempts to be more precise, for, referring to 
the period between June 7 and July 1, 1776, he says: 

At this juncture Paine issued one of his most effective pamphlets, 
"A Dialogue between the Ghost of General Montgomery, Just Ar- 
rived from the Elysian Fields, and an American Delegate, in a 
Wood near Philadelphia." . . . The allusion to the arming of negroes 
and Indians against America, and other passages, resemble clauses in 
one of the paragraphs eliminated from the original Declaration of 

At this time Paine saw much of Jefferson, and there can be little 
doubt that the anti-slavery clause struck out of the Declaration was 
written by Paine, or by some one who had Paine's anti-slavery essay 
before him. In the following passages it will be observed that the 
antitheses are nearly the same — "infidel and Christian," "heathen 
and Christian." 



lie has waged cruel war against — these inoffensive people are 

human nature itself, violating its brought into slavery, by stealing 

most sacred rights of life and lib- them, tempting kings to sell sub- 

erty in the persons of a distant jects, which they can have no right 

people who never offended him, to do, and hiring one tribe to war 

captivating and carrying them. into against another, in order to catch 

slavery in another hemisphere, or to prisoners. By such wicked and in- 

incur miserable death in their trans- human ways the English, etc. . . . 

portation thither. This piratical an hight of outrage that seems left 

warfare, the opprobrium of INFI- by Heathen nations to be practised 

DEL powers, is the warfare of the by pretended Christians. 

CHRISTIAN king of Great Brit- —that barbarous and hellish 

ain. Determined to keep open a power which has stirred up the 

Character, written jointly in 1819 by Cobbett and Madame Bonneville and first 
printed in Conway's Life of Paine, n. 433-459. Very likely it will be found 
somewhere in Cobbett's Political Register, for in the issue of December 11, 1819, 
Cobbett employed this exaggerated language : 

Divested of all its minor circumstances, the great question was, whether the 
colonists would submit to taxation without representation; whether they would 
submit to be taxed, either directly or indirectly, by a Parliament to which they 
sent no Members, or whether they would not. ... A little thing sometimes pro- 
duces a good effect ; an insult offered to a man of great talent and unconquerable 
perseverance has in many instances, produced, in the long run, most tremendous 
effects ; and, it appears to me very clear that some beastly insults, offered to Mr. 
Paine, while he was in the Excise in England, was the real cause of the Revolu- 
tion in America ; for, though the nature of the cause of America was such as I 
have before described it; though the principles were firm in the minds of the 
people of that country ; still, it was Mr. Paine, and Mr. Paine alone, who brought 
those principles into action (xxxv. 420-422). 


market where MEN bould be 1 

bought a r i * I gold, he ha pro tit ite I 

In (■■ gative for uppre ing e ery — it 

legi lative attempt to prohibit or 

re t rain this execrable coram 

Ami that tlii 

might want no fact of d b l 

die, he is now excit ing ' ho e 

people to rise in arms among u i, 

and i" purcha te ilia' liberty ol •■•■ hich 

he has deprived them by murdering 

the people on whom he has obi i 

them, thus paying off former crimes 

committed again t the I.ll'.l i: I IES 

of one people \\ it h ci iraes which he 

urges them to commit again 

LIVES of another. 

Tims did Paine try to lay at t ; 
builders rejected, and which afterwar 

powder. 1 

The paS8ag6 from Conway contains two 

First, that "at tliis time Paine >a\\ much of Jeffei I 

wa\ offers no proof of this, and. bo far as I am 

exists. Paine arrived at Philadelphia in December, 177-1 

i Life of Paine, i. 79 Bl. 

'-' The date given by ( lonway i Life of Pi 
ton- of the American Revolution, i. 162), perhaj if iring 
ber 80, 1774. I do not know the authority for l 
n new piece of evidence. Pa ' Sense 

articlei signed " Cato," written bj the Ret l)r ■'• 
plii:i ( lollege (now the Unii ertltj f Pei 
articlei under the lignature of "The 
John A.l mis iald, " Hie a riter of ' Coi 
tame person, rlii name li Paine, ;i gentl< i | 

land, ;i man who, < leneral I 
ported here to be Doctor Smith — :i match for 
John Adams and hii Wife, 187) Ainu-'- it ii • 
in an autobiographical sketch lent Henrj I 
•aid, " l brought with me letters from D I • u h 
flying seal, that I might, II l thought pi 
to Mr Baohe of thii city, rhe terras of Dr Franklii - 

here for liii arrh il " | Wr dngi i\ i '" Prank 

don. September :i) . 1774, li printed ■•• B 

v 869 370 A letter by Paine to Frank I 

count of hit n retched trip 

well enough to wait on Mr B 

Franklin, t. L08. An extract from the letti 


which time Jefferson was in Virginia. Jefferson reached 
Philadelphia June 20, 1775, but returned to Virginia July 31 ; 
again reached Philadelphia October 1, but returned to Vir- 
ginia December 28, 1775 ; and was once more in Philadelphia 
from May 14 to September 2, 1776. x The Declaration was 
written between June 11 and 28, 1776. Until the publication 
of " Common Sense " on January 9, 1776, Paine was an ob- 
scure person. From December 29, 1775, to May 13, 1776, both 
included, Jefferson and Paine obviously could not have met. 
They may have met between May 14 and June 28, but of this 
there is no proof. 2 

Franklin's Works, v. 370 note, and in Bigelow's Life of Franklin, u 248 note). 
The Pennsylvania Ledger of May 6, 1775, announced that " Yesterday evening 
arrived here Captain Osborne, from London, in whom came passenger the 
worthy Dr. FRANKLIN, Agent for Massachusetts government and this Prov- 
ince " (p. 3/1). Paine's statement that he arrived " some months before " Frank- 
lin is not very definite. But the following notice, to which so far as I am aware 
attention is now called for the first time, was printed in the Pennsylvania Even- 
ing Post, April 30, 1776 : 


WHEREAS Cato, in his eighth letter, and some of his partizans since, have 
made free with the Forester as having neither "character nor connexion." 
To which I answer, first, " better to have none than bad ones." Secondly, that 
the person supposed by some, and known by others, to be the author of Common 
Sense and the Forester's letters, came a cabin passenger in Jeremiah Warder's 
ship, the London Packet, last Christmas twelvemonth, bringing with him two 
unsealed letters of introduction from Dr. Franklin to his friends here, in which 

he says, " I recommend the bearer hereof, Mr. , as a icorthy ingenious $-c." 

I have published this at the request, and for the sake of those gentlemen whose 
acquaintance I am honored with — and in my turn call on Cato and his confed- 
erates to set forth, as I have done, what rank and recommendation they or their 

originals made their first appearance in 


"Last Christmas twelvemonth" was the Christmas of 1774. Among the 
arrivals noted in the Pennsylvania Gazette of December 14, 1774, is that of the 
" Ship London Packet, J. Cooke, Lewes, on Delaware" (p. 3/3); and a similar 
entry is printed in the Pennsylvania Journal of December 14, 1774 (p 3/3). "J. 
Cooke " was of course the name of the captain of the ship, while presumahly 
Jeremiah Warder was the name of the owner. If this was the ship that brought 
Paine — and I suppose there can hardly be a doubt on this point — it follows 
that he arrived at Philadelphia between December 7 and December 14, 1774. 

I do not know whether Dr. Smith replied to Paine's challenge. He might 
have done so in an effective way, for it was largely through the efforts of Frank- 
lin that Dr. Smith was appointed to the charge of the Philadelphia College, 
though later a bitter quarrel ensued between Franklin and Smith. 

1 This schedule, taken from P. L. Ford's edition of Jefferson's Writings, i. 
xlii-xliii ; n. xxi-xxii, differs slightly from that in Hazelton's Declaration of 
Independence: its History, 450. 

2 An attempt to ascertain exactly when Jefferson and Paine first met has been 


Secondly, that "there can be little doubt that the anti- 
slavery clause struck out of the Declaration was written by 
Paine, or by some one who had Paine's anti-slavery essay he- 
fore him." Conway does not indicate the source of either of 
the two extracts lie quotes from Paine, though the reader 
might not unreasonably infer that one was taken from Paine's 
"Dialogue." 1 Such, however, is not the case. The first 
extract comes from Paine's "African Slavery in America," 
first printed in the Postscript to the Pennsylvania Journal of 

1 Conway says that the Dialogue was "printed in pamphlet form about 
time of the appointment by Congress of a Committee to draft a Declaration of 
Independence" (Paine's Writings, i. 161 note). I have been unable to as 
its exact date of publication, as it is apparently not advertised in such Philadel- 
phia newspapers as I have been able to examine. The ahsurd lengths to which 
the so-called Baconians have gone make one suspicious of Conway's method of 
jumping at a conclusion as to the authorship of a piece merely because it con- 
tains a particular word or phrase ; and the danger involved in the method can be 
well illustrated. The following passage is taken from Paine's Dialogue (p. 1 J • » f 
the original edition of 1776, of which there is a copy in the library of this Society, 
and Conway's edition of Paine's Writings, i. 1GG) : 

Del. Will not a declaration of independence lessen the number of our friends, 
and increase the rage of our enemies in Britain ? 

Gen. Mont. Your friends as (you call them) are too few — too divided — and 
too interested to help you. And as for your enemies, they have done I 
worst. They have called upon Russians — Hanoverians — Hessians — Canadians 
— Savages — and Negroes to assist them in burning your towns — desolating 
country — and in butchering your wives and children. 

In a letter written to her husband on March 31, 177f>, Abigail Adams said : 

I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in 
the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you n> make. 1 
you would remember the ladies and l>e more generous and favorable to tl em than 
your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the hus- 
bands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. It' particular care 
and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, 
and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have n 

On April 14 John Adams replied to this banter as follows : 

I begin to think the ministry as deep as they are wicked. After stirring up 
Tories, land-jobbers, trimmers, bigots, Canadians, Indians, negroes, Han 
ans, Hessians, Russians, Irish Roman Catholics. Pcotch renegadoes, at lasl 

have stimulated the to demand new privileges and threaten to r«. 1 1 ; 

(Familiar Letters of John Adams and his Wife, 149, 150, 155) 

An article in advocacy of independence, printed in the Pennsylvania IV 

Tost of dune 1, 1776, contained these words : 

Sooner than submit to the chance of these probable evils, we will : i . 
towns burnt, our country desolated, and our fathers, brothers, and children 

butchered by English, Scotch and Irishmen; by Hanoverians, lies- . 
wickers, Walleckers, Canadians, Indians and Negroes 

Are we to assume that three of these passages were written by the same \\ - 


March 8, 1775 ; 1 the second extract is taken from " Common 
Sense/" 2 "Whether or not the statement," writes John II. 
Hazelton in reference to Conway, " is justified must always, 
so far as the concurrent columns are concerned, remain a 
subject of individual opinion." 3 I can merely express my 
opinion that the " deadly parallel " does not accomplish the 
purpose intended by Conway. 

But a further remark is here pertinent. In his Summary 
View of the Rights of British America, written in July, 1774, 
and published at the time, Jefferson said : 

The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those 
[the American] colonies, where it was unhappily introduced in their 
infant state. But previous to the enfranchisement of the slaves we 
have, it is necessary to exclude all further importations from Africa; 
yet our repeated attempts to affect this by prohibitions, and by imposing 
duties which might amount to a prohibition, have been hitherto defeated 
by his majesty's negative: Thus preferring the immediate advantages 
of a few African [altered in the author's copy to " British '*'] corsairs to 
the lasting interests of the American states, and to the rights of human 
nature deeply wounded by this infamous practice. 4 

Jefferson was never more happy than when denouncing 
slavery ; and that the author of these words, written four or 
five months previous to Paine's arrival in America, must, before 
penning the anti-slavery clause struck out of the Declaration, 
have had before him an article not printed until March 8, 1775, 
is a proposition that will be accepted by few. 

Again, also, we observe the tendency noted above. For 
though at the beginning Conway says "there can be little 
doubt," acknowledging that there is some doubt, that the 
clause " was written by Paine, or by some one who had Paine's 
anti-slavery essay before him," yet he winds up by calmly 
assuming that Paine was the author. " Thus," he asserts, 
" did Paine try to lay at the corner the stone which the 

1 Paine's Writings, i. 5-7. 

2 Paine's Writings, i. 100. Hazelton, in his Declaration of Independence: its 
History, 450, lias fallen into a slight error in saying that both extracts are from 
the "Essay on African Slavery in America." As stated in the text, the second 
extract is from Common Sense. Conway's repeated failure to give the sources 
of his quotations makes it difficult to run them down. 

8 Declaration of Independence : its History, 450. 
4 Jefferson's Writings, i. 440. 


builders rejected." It would not be easy to 6nd a i 
glaring instance of begging the question. 

Let us now turn to other sources oi* information. ( 
7, 1770, it was, on a motion of the Virginia delegates, " Re- 
solved, That these United Colonies arc, and of ri ; .t to 
be, free and independent States." On June 11 a committee 
to draft the Declaration was chosen consisting of J< 
John Adams, Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Liv- 
ingston ; and on June 28 the draft was read. 1 In a 
to Samuel A. Wells, dated May 12, 1819, Jeff : that 
he had, "while the question of independence was ui 
consideration before Congress, taken written notes, in my 
seat, of what was passing, and reduced them to form 
final conclusion. I have now before me that pa] • : - 
later, a controversy arose between Adams and n in 
regard to some of the details, and on August 30, L82J 
son thus wrote Madison : 

The committee of five met ; no such thing as a Bab-committee was 
proposed, but they unanimously pressed on myself alon< 
the draught. I consented; I drew it; hut before I reported il I 
committee;, I communicated it separately to Dr. Franklin and Mr. 
Adams, requesting their corrections, because they were the two □ 
hers of whose judgments and amendments I wished most to hai 
benefit, before presenting it to the committee ; and you have Been the 
original paper now in my hands, with the corrections of Dr. 
and Mr. Adams interlined in their own hand writings ' 1 
tions were two or three only, and merely verbal. I then wr 
copy, reported it to the committee, and from them, unalb n I, 
gress. This personal communication and consultation with Mr. \ 
he has mis remembered into the actings o( a Bub-committee. 1 
observations, and Mr, Adams' in addition, "that it contained no i i 
ideas, that it is a commonplace compilation, its Bentim 
in Congress for two years before, and its essence conl (1 i' 

pamphlet/ 1 may all be true. Of that 1 am not to 

Richard Henry Lee charged it a> copied from 1 

on government. Otis' pamphlet I never saw. and whetl 

gathered my ideas from reading or reflection I do not know. 1 

only that I turned to neither hook nor pamphlet H it. I 

1 Journals of the Continental Congress (ed. W C I 
■ Jefferson's Writings, \ 180 

;; This has been reproduced several times to facsimile v 
Franklin made an> change In the and slaverj cla 


did not consider it as any part of my charge to invent new ideas 
altogether, and to offer no sentiment which had ever been expressed 
before. 1 

Here we have Jefferson's deliberate claim to the sole au- 
thorship of the Declaration and his assertion that he " turned 
to neither book nor pamphlet while writing it." It will 
perhaps be said that a statement written forty-seven years 
after the event cannot be accepted as final. Let us, then, 
turn to the " written notes, [taken] in my seat, of what was 
passing." Even if those notes were not, as Jefferson thrice 
stated they were, 2 taken at the time, the following passage is 
yet of interest: 

The committee for drawing the declaration of Independence desired 
me to do it. It was accordingly done, and being approved by them, I 
reported it to the house on Friday the 28th of June when it was read 
and ordered to lie on the table. . . . Congress proceeded the same 
day [July 1] to consider the declaration of Iudependance which had 
been reported & lain on the table of Friday preceding, and on Monday 

1 Jefferson's Writings, x. 267-268. 

2 First, in his letter to Wells of May 12, 1819, as quoted in the text. Sec- 
ondly, in his letter to Madison of August 30, 1823, where he wrote : " I should then 
say, that in some of the particulars, Mr. Adams' memory has led him into 
unquestionable error. At the age of eighty-eight, and forty-seven years after 
the transactions of Independence, this is not wonderful. Nor should I, at the age 
of eighty, on the small advantage of that difference only, venture to oppose my 
memory to his, were it not supported by written notes, taken by myself at the 
moment and on the spot." Thirdly, on a slip of paper pasted on the sheet of 
" written notes," Jefferson, writing certainly after May 12, 1819, said: " I took 
my notes in my place while these things were going on, and at their close wrote 
them out in form and with correctness and from 1 to 7 of the two preceding 
sheets are the originals then written ; as the two following are of the earlier 
debates on the Confederation, which I took in like manner" (Writings, i. 38 
note). These " written notes "come to an end on August 1, 1776. Did Jeffer- 
son's own memory play him false in regard to those notes ? The question appar- 
ently cannot be answered with certainty, Mr. Paul L. Ford remarking: 

Here end the notes which Jefferson states were taken " while these things were 
going on, and at their close " were " written out in form and with correctness." 
Much of their value depends on the date of their writing, but there is nothing to 
show this, except negative evidence. The sheets were all written at the same 
time, which makes the writing after Aug. 1, 1776 ; while the misstatements as 
to the signing, and as to Dickinson's presence, would seem almost impossible 
unless greater time even than this had elapsed between the occurrence and the 
notes. The MS. is, moreover, considerably corrected and interlined, which would 
hardly be the case if merely a transcript of rough notes (Jefferson's Writings, 
i. 47 note). 

Jefferson at a late date prepared a copy of these notes for Madison, and this 
copy is in the Madison Papers, in the Library of Congress. 


referred to a commee of the whole. The pusillanimous idea that we 
had friends in England worth keeping terms with, still haunted the 
minds of many. For this reason those passages which conv< 
sures on the people of England were struck out, lest they Bhould give 
them offence. The clause too, reprobating the enslaving the inhabit- 
ants of Africa, was struck out in complaisance to South Carolina and 
Georgia, who had never attempted to restrain the importation of Blaves, 
and who on the contrary still wished to continue it. Our northern 
brethren also I believe felt a little tender under those censures ; for 
tho' their people have very few slaves themselves yet they had been 
pretty considerable carriers of them to others. 1 

The writings of Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Sherman, and 
Livingston have been searched in vain for evidence, in .-up- 
port of the statement that Paine had any share in the drafting 
of the Declaration, nor is there anything in Fame's own writ- 
ings that gives color to the notion. Moreover, more than one 
writer since 1892 has specifically attributed to Jefferson the 
anti-slavery clause in the preliminary draft of that document. 
Thus in 1903 Sir George O. Trevelyan said that "Jefferson, 
again, had written, and somewhat over-written, a denuncia- 
tion of the King for having refused his sanction to the succes- 
sive endeavours which the Virginian assembly - had made, 
in all honesty, to suppress the importation of negroes." In 
1904 Dr. Herbert Friedenwald wrote: 

The other paragraph had reference to the slave-trade and was more 
denunciatory of the King than any of the remainder. . . . This is un- 
questionably one of the most forcible clauses that issued from Jeffer- 
son's pen, and its rejection, for the reasons which he ascribes, Berved to 
promote consistency of action on the part of the colonies, and prevent 
the forcing of an issue which the country was not yet in a position to 

1 Jefferson's Writings, i. 24, 28. In liis reply, dated September 6, 1823, 

Madison said : 

Nothing ('Jin be more absurd than the cavil that tho Declaration of In 'im- 
pendence contains known and not new truths. The object was to assert, not to 
discover truths, and to make them the hasis of the Revolutionary act. The 
merit of the Draught, therefore, could only consist in a lucid communication of 
human rights, in a condensed enumeration of the reasons for BUCli an » \ 
of them, and in a style and tone appropriate to the great occasion, and to the 
spirit of the American people (Letters and Other Writings, in 336 337). 

2 Trevelyan has made a slight mistake in restricting the emlc.iN 
Virginian Assembly. The clause struck out speaks of " o\ cr\ legifi r< 
attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce."' Sec 2 t - 

3 American Revolution, n. part ii. 161. 


face. But its omission was a serious blow to Jefferson, who all his 
days was a firm advocate of the suppression of the slave trade and of 
slavery. 1 

Nor should we overlook Sir Leslie Stephen's cautious re- 
mark that Paine " is supposed by Mr. Conway to have written 
the suppressed clause against the slave trade in the declaration 
of independence." 2 

Evidence drawn from epitaphs and wills, though to be re- 
ceived with caution, yet at times has its value. The epitaph 
which Jefferson composed for his own monument is well 
known : " Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the 
American Declaration of Independence, of the Statute of Vir- 
ginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of 
Virginia." 3 In his will, made January 18, 1809, or less than 
five months before his death, Paine says : 

I, Thomas Paine, of the State of New York, author of the work 
entitled Common Sense, written in Philadelphia, in 1775, and published 
in that city the beginning of January, 1776, which awaked America to 
a declaration of Independence on the fourth of July following, which 
was as fast as the work could spread through such an extensive coun- 
try ; author also of the several numbers of the American Crisis, thirteen 
in all; published occasionally during the progress of the revolutionary 
war — the last is on the peace; author also of Eights of Man, parts 
the first and second, written and published in London, in 1791 and 
1792 ; author also of a work on Religion, Age of Reason, parts the first 
and second — N. B. I have a third part by me in manuscript, and an 
answer to the bishop of Llandaff ; author also of a work, lately pub- 
lished, entitled Examination of the Passages in the New Testament, 
Quoted from the Old, and called Prophecies concerning Jesus Christ, 
and showing there are no Prophecies of any such Person ; author also 
of several other works not here enumerated, Dissertations on First 
Principles of Government, — Decline and Fall of the English System 

1 Declaration of Independence, 132-133. 

2 Dictionary of National Biography (1009), xv. 71. In a letter dated August 
6, 1822, John Adams, speaking of the Declaration, said, " I have long wondered 
that the original draught has not been published. I suppose the reason is, the 
vehement philippic against negro slavery" (Works, ir. 514 note). Had there 
been the slightest doubt in the mind of Adams as to the authorship of that 
philippic, surely it would have been expressed in this letter ; yet in the letter he 
specifically refers to Jefferson as " the author of the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence " (n. 513 note). 

8 Randall's Life of Jefferson, in. 563. 


of Finance, — Agrarian Justice, &c, &c., make this my last Will and 
Testament. 1 

Sir Leslie Stephen asserts that Paine " attached an exces- 
sive importance to his own work, and was ready to accept the 
commonplace that his pen had been as efficient as Washing- 
ton's sword." 2 Can we for a moment doubt that had Paine 
had any share in the drafting of the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, even of a clause rejected, the honorable fact would 
have been recorded in his will ? 

The following letter was read from Mr. Charles Henry 

I do not think I can prove my appreciation of the recently 
printed Index volume to the second series of the Society's 
Proceedings more thoroughly than by telling you that I have 
read it through and found it most instructive. Among the 
references that caused me to stop and look, if not to listen, 
was " Cooper, Samuel, miniature of Cromwell, 3. 282." At the 
page of the volume indicated I found a list of donations for 
the year 1886-87, and among them this entry, " A miniature 
of Oliver Cromwell, by Samuel Cooper, which once belonged 
to Thomas Jefferson. Given by Robert C. Winthrop." This 
was not a "find" for me, as I knew the Society owned this 
miniature of Cromwell, and when, in 1905, I was selecting the 
illustrations for Elson's History of the United States, I chose 
this for its association, and had it photographed and repro- 
duced for that work (i. 111). My comment on this minia- 
ture, in the annotated index to the illustrations, was : 

The miniature here reproduced once belonged to Thomas Jefferson 
and came to the cabinet of the Massachusetts Historical Society, in 
1886, from the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, who had received it as a 
legacy from Mr. Joseph Coolidge, who had married Jefferson's grand- 
daughter. It has been attributed to the foremost of all miniature 
painters, Samuel Cooper, who did paint several portraits in little of the 
Lord Protector ; but this clearly is not one of them, being of very 
mediocre execution. 

Since publishing this note I have often thought that it 
would be a proper act of courtesy if I gave the Society my 

1 Paine's Writings, iv. 508. 

2 Dictionary of National Biography, xv. 78. 


reasons in detail for questioning the authenticity of this min- 
iature and its attribution of authorship, and I am especially 
moved to do so at this time by the admirable twenty-fifth an- 
niversary address, recently delivered before the American His- 
torical Association, by our fellow member, Professor Albert 
Bushnell Hart, on the pertinent theme of " Imagination in 

It is not necessary to give to a cultivated body of men like 
this Society any account of Samuel Cooper. It is sufficient to 
say that he seems to have come forth full armored from the 
brain of Jove, and he has remained to our day facile princeps 
among the miniature painters of the world. His period covers 
from 16.09 to 1672, and if not precisely court-painter to the 
Protector, he seems to have limned him many times, until his 
name is as closely connected with the portraits of Cromwell 
as Holbein's is with those of Henry VIII, and consequently 
Cooper has suffered by having all sorts of portraits of the head 
of the Commonwealth attributed to him. It will be remem- 
bered that it was one of his miniatures of Cromwell that 
called forth the high encomium of Horace Walpole, that if it 
could be magnified to the size of Vandyke's it would appear 
to have been painted to that proportion and Vandyke's appear 
less great by the comparison, and as Dr. Propert correctly 
says, " It is extremely doubtful if Vandyke ever produced a 
portrait which for strength, broad delineation of character and 
freedom, could surpass many of Cooper's tiny miniatures." 

This suggestion of Walpole is especially to the point in con- 
sidering the miniature under consideration. The head is 
three-quarters of an inch long, and I had it enlarged to two 
and one-half inches, much below life size, when, instead of 
holding its own, it went all to pieces, which was no surprise to 
me as I saw how faulty it was in drawing, without modelling 
and technically mediocre to the last degree. Indeed, there 
never could have been any legitimate excuse for attributing it 
to Cooper, excepting that it was a portrait of Oliver Cromwell, 
and there are few miniatures of Cromwell that the owners do 
not, with perfect assurance, assign to the incomparable Cooper 
as glibly as in this country every portrait of Washington is 
assigned to Gilbert Stuart. 

As a matter of history, in connection with miniatures of 
Cromwell by Cooper in this country, let me add that in Cum- 

1910.] BROADSIDE ON OLD TENOR, 1751. 255 

mings's Historic Annals of the National Academy of Design 
(page 118), there is an account of one Abrahams, who in 1830 
exhibited in New York a collection of paintings by the " Old 
Masters," through which he got into trouble and was lodged 
in the Tombs prison. On being released Cummings says, " Ha 
left in this country, from that collection, an original miniature 
portrait of Oliver Cromwell, by Cooper, which he presented to 
William Roome, the deputy-jailer of the City Prison, for kind- 
nesses rendered during his confinement." A score of years 
ago I had some correspondence with the author of this work, 
Thomas Seir Cummings, then in his eigbty-eighth year and a 
well-known miniature painter, as to the time of the introduc- 
tion of ivory for miniatures, and he referred to the Abra- 
hams-Cooper miniature of Cromwell as being on ivory. This 
fact alone stamped it as not by Cooper, ivory for miniature- 
painting not having been used in his time. He painted upon 
vellum, paper, or metal. In conclusion it might be well to 
add that your miniature does not even bear a resemblance to 
any known portrait of Cromwell by Cooper, and thus another 
instance of imagination in history is laid bare. 

Mr. Ford made the following communication : 

My colleague Mr. Alfred B. Page has called my attention 
to a hitherto unsuspected connection between two broadsides 
in the collections of the Society, and his investigation has 
developed this connection so as to place it beyond any ques- 
tion. He has prepared the following note embodying the 
material found upon the subject. 

In April, 1751, was circulated a printed broadside, contain- 
ing some satirical verses entitled, " A Mournful Lamentation 
for the sad and deplorable Death of Mr. Old Tenor," eta 
The poem had no name of author signed to it, and the broad- 
side gave no name of a printer. It was occasioned by a law- 
enacted January 26, 1748-49, having for its object the with- 
drawing from circulation of the bills o( credit issued by the 
Province, the last act in a long-continued experience of paper 
issues. 1 The broadside was presented to the Society in 1882 

1 Mass. Provincial Laws, in. 430. It is almost needless to call attention I 
important studies made of this subject by Andrew McFarland Davis, rhecourse 
of legislation and experience in bills of credit of no other colony has received so 

full and careful attention. 




by Miss E. S. Quincy, and was then printed in the Proceed- 
ings (xx. 30), but not so accurately as could be desired. It 
is now reproduced in fac-simile. Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull, 
in the Brinley Catalogue, attributes the authorship of the verses 
to Joseph Green, a wit of some note in his day, but long since 

A | Mournful Lamentation | For the sad and deplorable Death of | Mr. 
Old Tenor, | A Native of New-England, who, after a long Confine- 
ment, by a deep and mortal Wound | which he received above 
Twelve Months before, expired on the 31st Day of March, 1750. 

He lived beloved, and died lamented. 

To the mournful Tune of, Chevy-Chace. 

A Doleful tale prepare to hear, 
"^ As ever yet was told : 
The like, perhaps, ne'er reach'd the ear 

Of either young or old. 
Tis of the sad and woful death 

Of one of mighty fame, 
Who lately hath resign'd his breath; 

OLD TENOR was his Name. 

In vain ten thousands intercede, 

To keep him from the grave; 
In vain his many good works plead; 

Alas! they cannot save. 
The powers decree, and die he must, 

It is the common lot, 
But his good deeds, when he's in dust, 

Shall never be forgot. 

He made our wives and daughters fine, 

And pleased every body; 
He gave the rich their costly wine, 

The poor their rlip and toddy. 
The labourer he set to work ; 

In ease maintain' d the great: 
He found us mutton, beef and pork, 

And every thing we eat. 

To fruitful fields, by swift degrees, 

He turn'd our desart land : 
Where once nought stood but rocks and 

Now spacious cities stand. 
He built us houses strong and high, 

Of wood, and brick, and stone; 
The furniture he did supply; 

But now, alas! he's gone. 

The merchants too, those topping folks, 

To him owe all their riches; 
Their ruffles, lace and scarlet cloaks, 

And eke their velvet breeches. 
He launch'd their ships into the main, 

To visit distant shores ; 
And brought them back, full fraught with 

Which much increas'd their stores. 

Led on by him, our Soldiers bold, 

Against the foe advance; 
And took, in spite of wet and cold, 

Strong Cape Bketon from France. 
Who from that Fort the French did drive, 

Shall he so soon be slain ? 
While they alas! remain alive, 

Who gave it back again. 

From house to house, and place to place, 

In paper doublet clad, 
He pass'd, and where he shew'd his face, 

He made the heart full glad. 
But cruel death, that spareth none, 

Hath rob'd us of him too; 
Who thro' the land so long hath gone, 

No longer now must go. 

In Senate he, like Ccesar, fell, 

Pierc'd thro' with many a wound, 
He sunk, ah doleful tale to tell! 

The members sitting round. 
And ever since that fatal day, 

Oh! had it never been, 
Closely confin'd at home he lay, 

And scarce was ever seen. 





by Miss E. S. Quincy, and was then printed in the Proceed- 
ings (xx. 30), but not so accurately as could be desired. It 
is now reproduced in fac-simile. Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull, 
in the Brinley Catalogue, attributes the authorship of the verses 
to Joseph Green, a wit of some note in his day, but long since 

A | Mournful Lamentation | For the sad and deplorable Death of | Mr. 
Old Tenor, | A Native of New-England, who, after a long Confine- 
ment, by a deep and mortal Wound | which he received above 
Twelve Months before, expired on the 31st Day of March, 1750. 

He lived beloved, and died lamented. 
To the mournful Tune of, Chevy-Chace. 

A Doleful tale prepare to hear, 
"^^ As ever yet was told : 
The like, perhaps, ne'er reach'd the ear 

Of either young or old. 
Tis of the sad and woful death 

Of one of mighty fame, 
Who lately hath resign'd his breath; 

OLD TENOR was his Name. 

In vain ten thousands intercede, 

To keep him from the grave; 
In vain his many good works plead; 

Alas ! they cannot save. 
The powers decree, and die he must, 

It is the common lot, 
But his good deeds, when he's in dust, 

Shall never be forgot. 

He made our wives and daughters fine, 

And pleased every body; 
He gave the rich their costly wine, 

The poor their flip and toddy. 
The labourer he set to work ; 

In ease maintain'd the great: 
He found us mutton, beef and pork, 

And every thing we eat. 

To fruitful fields, by swift degrees, 

He turn'd our desart land : 
Where once nought stood but rocks and 

Now spacious cities stand. 
He built us houses strong and high, 

Of wood, and brick, and stone; 
The furniture he did supply; 

But now, alas! he's gone. 

The merchants too, those topping folks, 

To him owe all their riches; 
Their ruffles, lace and scarlet cloaks, 

And eke their velvet breeches. 
He launch'd their ships into the main, 

To visit distant shores ; 
And brought them back, full fraught with 

Which much increas'd their stores. 

Led on by him, our Soldiers bold, 

Against the foe advance ; 
And took, in spite of wet and cold, 

Strong Cape Bketox from France. 
Who from that Fort the French did drive, 

Shall he so soon be slain ? 
While they alas! remain alive, 

Who gave it back again. 

From house to house, and place to place, 

In paper doublet clad, 
He pass'd, and where he shew'd his face, 

He made the heart full glad. 
But cruel death, that spareth none, 

Hath rob'd us of him too; 
Who thro' the land so long hath gont, 

No longer now must go. 

In Senate he, like Ccesar, fell, 

Pierc'd thro' with many a wound, 
He sunk, ah doleful tale to tell! 

The members sitting round. 
And ever since that fatal day, 

Oh! had it never been, 
Closely confin'd at home he lay, 

And scarce was ever seen. 

jWottfiifttl Haroentatton 

For the lad and deplorable Death of 

Mr. Old Tenor, 

A Native of Uew-England, wher, after a long Confinement, by a deep and mortal Wound 
which he received above Twelve Months before, expired on the 31ft Day of March, 1750. 

He lived beloved, and died lamented, 
fo the mournfuf Tune of, Chcvy-Cbace. 

A Doleful tale prepare to hear, 
As ever yet was told : 
The like, perhaps, ne'er reach'd the e: 

Of cither young or old. 
Tis of the fad and woful death 

Of one of mighty fame, 
Who lately hath refign'd his breath •, 
OLD TENOR was his Name. 

In vain ten thoufands intercede, 
To keep him from the grave ; 

In vain his many good works plead; 
Alas ! they cannot fave. 

The powers decree, and die he Jmuft, 



But his good deeds, when he's 
Shall never be forgot 


He made our wives and daughters fine, 

And pleated every body ; 
Ho gave the rich thcif coftly wine, 

.The poor their flip and toddy. 
The labourer he fet to work; 

In eafe maintain'd the great : 
He found us mutton, beef and pork, 

And every thing we eat. 

To fruitful fields, by fwift degrees, 

He turn'd our defart land : 
Where once nought ftood but jrocks and 

Now fpacious cities ftand. 
He built us heufes ftrong and high, 

Of wood, and brick and ftone; 
The furniture he did firpply; 

But now, alasl he's gone. 

The merchants too, thofe topping folks, 

To him owe all their riches ; 
Their ruffles, lace and fcarlet cloaks, 

And eke their velvet breeches. 
He launch'd ibeic Clips into the main 

To vifit diftant mores ; 
And brought them back, full fraught 

Which much increas'd their (tores. 

But cruel death, that fpareth none, 
Hath rob'd us of him too; 

Who thro' the .land fo long hath gene, 
No longer now mull go. 

In Senate he, like C&far, fell, 

Pierc'd thro' with many a wound, 
He funk, ah doleful tale to tell I 

The mmbers fitting round. 
And ever fince that fatal day, 

Oh ! had it never been, 
Clofcly confin'd at home he" lajr, 

And fcarce was ever feen. 

Until the lad of March, when he 

Submitted unto fate ; 
In anno Regis twenty three, 

MtatU forty eight. * 
Forever gloomy be that day, 

When ;he'gave up the ghoft: 
For by his death, oh ! who can fay 

What hath New-England loft > 

Then good OLD TENOR, fare thee well, 

Since thou an dead and gone ; 
We mourn thy fete, e'en while we tell 

The good things thou haft done. 
Since the bright beams of yonder fun, 

Did on Nea-England flune, 
In all the land, there -ne'er was known 

A death fo mourn'd as thine. 

Of every rank are many feen, 

Thy downfal to deplore; 
For 'tis well known that thou haft been' 

A friend to rich and poor. 
We'll o'er thee raife a Silver tomb, 

Long may 
To blefs our eyes for years fo 

But willies ' 

Sold at the Htm nv< Cram in C?nwi\ M.rr, Pries fkrts Mf Pr 


Until the last of March, when he Of every rank are many seen, 

Submitted unto fate ; Thy downfall to deplore; 

In anno Regis twenty three, For 'tis well known that thou hast been 

JEtatis forty eight.* A friend to rich and poor. 

Forever gloomy be that day, We'll o'er thee raise a Silver tomb, 

When he gave up the ghost : Long may that tomb remain, 

For by his death, oh ! who can say To bless our eyes for years to come, 

What hath New-England lost? But wishes ah ! are vain. 

Then good OLD TENOR, fare thee well, And so God bless our noble state, 

Since thou art dead and gone; And save us all from harm, 

We mourn thy fate, e'en while we tell And grant us food enough to eat, 

The good things thou hast done. And cloaths to keep us warm. 

Since the bright beams of yonder sun, Send us a lasting peace, and keep 

Did on New-England shine, The times from growing worse, 

In all the land, there ne'er was known And let us all in safety sleep, 

A death so mourn'd as thine. With Silver in our purse. 

* Mr. Old Tenor was born in the Year 1702. 


Sold at the Heart and Crown in Cornhill, Boston ; Price, Three Half 

Apart from any sentimental feelings that could be enter- 
tained for these bills of credit, feelings that were again experi- 
enced after 1865, when the " blood-stained greenback " became 
a phrase by which to conjure, it appears there existed an ex- 
treme sensitiveness to criticism on the part of the members 
of the General Court. What seem to us doggerel lines were 
then regarded as dangerous to the State, in that they tended 
to bring into contempt and even to subvert the constitution of 
the government. Action began in the House of Representa- 
tives, and the following resolution became of force : 

In the House of Rep ives April 12, 1751 

Voted that His Honour the Lieutenant Governour be desired with the 
advice of the Council to Issue out a Proclamation (offering a Suitable 
Reward) for Apprehending the Bodies of Robert Howland of Dux- 
borough and Fobes Little of Little Compton who are suspected of 
Publishing and Dispersing a Printed Paper containing suudry Ex- 
pressions tending to bring into Contempt and Subvert the Constitu- 
tion of this Government. 

Sent up for concurrence 

T. Hubbard Spk r 
In Council April 13 1751 Read and Concurr'd. 

J. Willard Secry ^ 

Accordingly, Spencer Phips, then Lieutenant-Governor of 

the Province, issued a Proclamation, dated April IS, 1751. A 

1 Mass. Archives, en. 582, 583; Mass. Prov. Laws, xiv. 517. 


copy is also in the Society's Library, and it is reproduced in 

By the Honourable SPENCER PHIPS, Esq ; Lieutenant-Governour 

aud Commander in Chief, in and over His Majesty's Province 

of the Massachusetts- Bay in New- England, 

A Proclamation. 

WHEREAS there has been lately published and dispersed within 
this Province, an anonymous Paper in the Form of a Ballad, 
called, A sad and deplorable Lamentation, &c. — wherein arc contained 
many Expressions horribly prophane and impious, and such also as 
reflect the greatest Indignity and Contempt upon the Authority of the 
Legislature, and tend very much to weaken, if not subvert the happy 
Constitution of this Government: And whereas one Robert Howland oi 
Duxbury, and one Fobes Little of Little-Compton, are informed against 
for industriously publishing and dispersing, and one or both of them 
strongly suspected to be the Authors of the Paper aforesaid : 

I Do therefore, with the Advice of His Majesty's Council, and at 
the Desire of the House of Representatives, hereby require His 
Majesty's Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, and other Officers, with other 
His Majesty's Subjects, to use their utmost Endeavours for the seizing, 
apprehending and securing the said Robert Howland and Fobes Little, 
that so they may be brought to Justice: And for the Encouragement 
of the said Officers and others concerned, any Person or Persons that 
shall seize upon and secure the said Robert Howland and Fobes Little, 
or either of them, so that they, or either of them, shall be delivered up 
to Authority, he or they shall receive out of the publick Treasury the 
Sum of TEN POUNDS Lawful Money for each of the said Persons 
they shall so secure and deliver up as aforesaid, together with all 
necessary Charges. 

GIVEN at the Council- Chamber in Boston, the Eighteenth Day 
of April 1751, in the Twenty-fourth Year of the Reign of 
our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Second, by the Grace 
of GOD of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, KING, 
Defender of the Faith, &c. 

By Order of His Honour the Lieutenant-Governour, 

with the Advice of the Council, S. Phips. 

J. Willard, Seer. 

GOD Save the KING. 

BOSTON: Printed by John Draper, Printer to His Honour the 
Lieutenant-Governour and Council. 1751. 


copy is also in the Society's Library, and it is reproduced in 

By the Honourable SPENCER PHIPS, Esq ; Lieutenant-Governour 

and Commander in Chief, in and over His Majesty's Province 

of the Massachusetts- Bay in New- England, 

A Proclamation. 

WHEREAS there has been lately published and dispersed within 
this Province, an anonymous Paper in the Form of a Ballad, 
called, A sad and deplorable Lamentation, &c. — wherein arc contained 
many Expressions horribly prophane and impious, and such also as 
reflect the greatest Indignity and Contempt upon the Authority of the 
Legislature, and tend very much to weaken, if not subvert the happy 
Constitution of this Government: And whereas one Robert Howland of 
Duxbury, and one Fobes Little of Little-Compton, are informed against 
for industriously publishing and dispersing, and one or both of them 
strongly suspected to be the Authors of the Paper aforesaid : 

I Do therefore, with the Advice of His Majesty's Council, and at 
the Desire of the House of Representatives, hereby require His 
Majesty's Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, and other Officers, with other 
His Majesty's Subjects, to use their utmost Endeavours for the seizing, 
apprehending and securing the said Robert Howland and Fobes Little, 
that so they may be brought to Justice: And for the Encouragement 
of the said Officers and others concerned, any Person or Persons that 
shall seize upon and secure the said Robert Howland and Fobes Little, 
or either of them, so that they, or either of them, shall be delivered up 
to Authority, he or they shall receive out of the publick Treasury the 
Sum of TEN POUNDS Lawful Money for each of the said Persons 
they shall so secure and deliver up as aforesaid, together with all 
necessary Charges. 

GIVEN at the Council- Chamber in Boston, the Eighteenth Day 
of April 1751, in the Twenty-fourth Year of the Reign of 
our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Secojid, by the Grace 
of GOD of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, KING, 
Defender of the Faith, &c. 

By Order of His Honour the Lieutenant-Governour, 

with the Advice of the Council, S. Phips. 

J. Willard, Seer. 

GOD Save the KING. 

BOSTON: Printed by John Draper, Printer to His Honour the 
Lieutenant-Governour and Council. 1751. 



Lieutenant-Governour and Commander i 
Maffachufetts-Bay in New-England. 

Chief, in and over His Majefty's Province of the 


SHEREAS there has been lately pubis fried and difperfed within this Province, an anony- 
mous Paper in the Form of a Ballad, called, A fad and deplorable Lamentation, 8cc- - 
wherein are contained many Exprefiions horribly prophane and impious, .and fuch alfo as 
reflecT: the greatcft Indignity and Contempt upon the Authority of the Legiflature, and 
tend very much to weaken, if not fubvert the happy Conftitution of this Government : 
And whereas one Robert Howland of Duxbury, and one Fobes Little of Little-Compton, 

are informed againft for induilriouily publishing and difperfing, and one or both of them Itrongly fuf- 

pecled to be the Authors of the Paper aforefaid : 

I3D0 tflevcfoje, tbt'tl) ttje SUMcc of $& G&m&f# Council, ano at tlje 2>cfive of tlyz 
ftoufeofaseprefentatibes, i)tnby require $fg ^aiefip's Jumcts of U)c$cacc, 
©Dcnffs, ano otljec iDfficcts, Mtl) otijer ms <il2af eftp's&ub&ctfs, to ufe tDeir ttt= 
moftcnbeabouts for tlje fet?(ns, apptefjentnng atio fecurfng tlje tam Robert Howland 
and Fobes Little, tt)at fo tncp map be brought to gjufttce : 2ln0 for tlje (Encouragement 
of tl)e fatb aDfFtccts anu otDers concerned, an? ^evfon o? ^ccfons tl>4 ajall fefee upon 
ant) fecure tlje faiD JW»* Howland and FobesLiuk, 01 tit\)u of tljem, fo tl)at tl)cj>, o? eit!;.ct* 
of tljem, Cliail be Delibereo up to ^utl)ojttp, l)e o? tl)ep fljail vecetbc out of tljc Dtiblfrk 
^Cvcafuiv tl)c £>um of ten pounds fUMul fi^oney fo? eact) of tlje fait) #crfchs tficy 
foail fo fecure ano beltbeu up as afo^efaio, together »ntl) all nccefTarp Cljargcs. 

GIVEN at the Council-Chamber in Bofton, the Eighteenth Day of April 1 7 5 1 , in the Twenty- 
fourth Tear of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Second, by the Grace of GOD 
of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, KING, Defender of the Faith, &c. 

By Order of His Honour the Lieutenant-Governour, 

with the Advice of the Council, 

J. Willard, Seer. 


GOD Save the KIN G. 

BO STON ': Printed by John Draper, Pi inter to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governour and Council, 

t.7 5 »■ 


It will be noticed that while the resolution of the General 
Court merely intended to arrest the parties for publishing and 
dispersing the verses, the Proclamation asserted that it was 
strongly suspected that one or both wrote them. The subse- 
quent proceedings under the proclamation are developed in 
certain papers in the Massachusetts Archives, and would in- 
dicate that the writer or writers of the verses sought to avoid 
the consequences of their act by having them printed in Rhode 

Prov : of To James Warren Esq r Sheriff of the County of Plymouth 

the or to either of His Deputies 

Mass a> 
Bay. Greeting 

In His Majesty's Name You are hereby required and im powered 
forthwith to take the Bodies of Robert Ilowland of Duxborough 
Hezekiah Cane of Pembroke and Jethro Sprague of Duxbrough into 
your Custody and bring tbem before this House to give Answer for 
their Contempt of the Order of this House and such other matters as 
shall be laid to their Charge. 

Given under my Hand and Seal in the Chamber of the House of 
Representatives this Ninth Day of April. Anno Domini 1751. And in 
the 24th Year of His Maj es Reign 

T. Hubbard Spk rl 

The following entry of the return on this warrant is en- 
dorsed on the back of it: 

Plym? ss April y e 10:1751 
then persuant to Warrant I have tuck the Bodeys [of] y e with In 
Named Hezekiah Keen and Jethro Sprage and them Bront Before the 
Honorabel house of Representifes and I have made deligent Sarch for 
the withfin] named Robert howland and Cold not find him with in my 
present [precinct] 

pr JosErn Josselyn 

Dep 1 Sheriff 8 

Nath! Churchill of Plymouth of lawfull age testify's & says that he 
was at the house of Jethro Sprague in Duxborough on Monday llth 
March past, where were severall Persons & being askt by s d Sprague 
whether he had ever heard the Verses on the Death of Old Tenor 1 
told him no, whereupon he desired us to sit down & we should, 
upon this he called upon one Robert Howland who was then at 

1 Mass. Archives, en. 680; - 5S1. 


Spragues house, smoaking his pipe, to say or repeat them, at first 
he seemed somewhat backward, but afterwards taking his pipe out of 
his mouth, lie repeated in the hearing of myself & severall other persons 
then present a Number of Verses, on the Lamentation of the Death of 
Old Tenor. Afterwards Joseph Morton & myself went out of the 
House in order to pursue a person who had broke out of Plymouth 
Goal & (as we heard) Duxbury, said Ilowlaud told us he was 
going that way & would show us the House where y? person was, & as 
we were rideing along, he heard the s? Howland tell s d Morton, that 
the s d Verses were gone severall weeks before, to R d Island in order to 
be printed & that he believed he would hear more of them hereafter ; 
And since that I have seen some Verses printed, which according to the 
best of my remembrance I verily believe to be the same I heard 
repeated by the s d Robert Howland, which contained severall very hard 
reflections on the Generall Court I further say not 

Nathaniel Churchel 

Suffolk ss. Boston 1st April 1751. 

Nath! Churchill appeared & made solemn oath that the above Depo- 
sition by him subscribed is just & true 

Before me T. Hubbard J Peace * 

In the affidavit of Joseph Morton, Jr., of Plymouth, to the 
same effect, he states that on the " fiyday or Saterday follow- 
ing [March 11, 1751] Thomas Foster Esq r Shew me a printed 
Copy of Verses which I took to be . . . the Same Verses." 
It also appears that there were two or three sets or renderings 
of these doggerel lines, and it is likely that the more offen- 
sive were not contained in the printed sheet. 

Mr. Ford submitted for publication a copy of the following 
letter on slavery in Virginia, written by one Virginian to 
another at the time of the Missouri Compromise excitement. 

Francis Corbin to James Madison. 2 

My dear Sir, — I had fixed on the 25th of last month to do myself 
the pleasure of paying my respects to yourself and Mrs. Madison, 
hoping that my son Robert would have returned by that time from his 
Tour thro' upper and lower Canada. But a few days ago I received 
a letter from him, dated at Kingston, on his way from Quebec to York, 
to Niagara, and so on through Gennessee and by the great Canal to 

1 Mass. Archives, en. 585. 

2 From the Madison Papers in the Library of Congress. 

1910.] SLAVERY IX VIRGINIA. L819. 2 1 

New York. He was detained at Quebec to attend the Ob 

the late unfortunate Duke* of Richmond, to whom, being one 

youthful acquaintance, when he was Captain Lenox, I had „ 

a letter of introduction. 1 1 is presence here, therefore, cannot be 

calculated on till late in the present month. Until he arrive-, I dare 
not, in common prudence, leave my affairs to the sole management of 
overseers, who, in these days, are but little respected by our intellig 
Negroes, many of whom are far superiour in mind, morals, 
manners to those who are placed in authority over them. Nor is 
there any prospect of a change for the better, but on the contrary, our 
white people, of a certain description are, unhappily, becoming, day by 
day, more profligate, whilst our Negroes, happily are becoming more 
enlightened and more observant. I think slavery is working it's own 
cure. Under the best management, with daily vexation and : 
ending violence to our feelings, it does not afford us two per cent 
our Capital, and often brings us into debt. It is impossible, I think, 
that the present state of things can last. We must either aband 
the pure morality of Republicanism, or the gross and glaring im- 
morality of slavery. They cannot co-exist many years longer. This 
Union must snap short at last where Liberty ends, and Slavery b< ° 
The Missouri Question is bringing on the Crisis. 

You have now had experience enough, my dear Sir, as a practical 
Farmer, to be convinced, I suspect, that my opinion, namely. " that 
Slavery and Farming are incompatable," is not wholly unfounded. 
This opiuion, indeed, seems to be a necessary consequence of tb< 
mer one. Without industry, carefulness, and frugality, no /* 
did, or ever can prosper in any Country. But where there i- N 
Slavery there will be laziness, carelessness, and wastefulness. N 
it possible to prevent them. Severity increases the evil, and humanity 
does not lessen it. What nett profit will your tine wheat i 5t 
you now at a Dollar a Bushel, alter more than one half is deduct 
Expences and carriage to market? Tobacco, our antient staple, it is 
true, sells for a comparative little. But even this affords us more profit. 
and enables us to make both ends meet at the end of the year, if we are 
skilful in the management, and judicious in our disposal oi it. Such 
Tobacco as you can make upon the rich Lands I rode thro' a: \\ 
pelier, if stemmed, put up dry and clean, and prized loose, would, in 
the London or Liverpool Markets, always command a good price. 
That is to say, in the present depressed state of the market, it would 

* The melancholy manner of his death was this, lie had a tam< F i 
him. His favorite little Dog, Blucher, got into a Bquabble with this Fox The 
Duke fearing injury to the Dog, interposed his Hand, and was bit 1 
whs mad, ami died the next day. Several days after the p 
with a Hydrophobia. [/» margin.] He was Charles Lennox, 
Richmond See Dictionary of National Biography, 


sell for 9rf sterling a pound. This, if your Hogsheads weigh, as they 
oughl to do, 1 500 lb. nett will give you a clear £50 Sterling a Hogshead. 
This £50, Sterling, if you import your own Wines, Negro Clothing, etc. 
etc. will be more than equal to an £100 currency expended in our stores, 
besides the advantage of getting every thing of superiour Quality. This 
is the course your Father, I know, and my Father pursued, and in this 
course they prospered. Our National Pride indeed revolts, sometimes, 
at this apparent continuance of our old colonial dependence. But it is a 
senseless pride, for, after all " trahit suum quemque," and according to 
the Greek Proverb, ''God made all men to assist, and be dependent on 
one another." * If the Peace of Europe continues for twenty years, 
or even for Ten, we shall see Wheat and Flour selling, from foreign 
countries, cheaper than our own in our own Markets. In some of my 
late English Reviews I see it stated as a fact that there are, even in 
England, at this time, twenty millions of Acres of waste land, capable 
of culture. Should these be inclosed and cultivated, and the vast sav- 
ing of seed by the Drill Husbandry be adopted generally, and her corn 
laws be repealed, which the Landed Interest must submit to at last, 
that Country alone will be enabled to export grain of different kinds in 
great quantity. The average crops of wheat are stated at 32 Bushels, 
and the consumption of London at about 5,600,000 Bushels. If the 
population of this overgrown City, this Head too large for the Body, 
be rated at one million, or 1,200,000 souls, being a tenth nearly of the 
whole Population of England, Scotland and Wales, then 2 millions oi 
that 20 millions of acres brought into cultivation would supply those 
three Countries, and enable them to export largely. f It is very clear 
to my vision that if we would prosper (I speak of our cismontane part 
of the State only) we must stick to our old Planting Staples, Corn and 
Tobacco. X Slave labor is notoriously the most expensive of all labor. 
It ought, therefore, to be applied to the culture of those Articles 
which are liable to the smallest loss. In Corn and Tobacco nothing is 
lost. We save all even to the storks and stems. But in wheat, par- 
ticularly the bearded wheat, I am confident that, with me, not more 
than three fourths of it is saved. All the rest is lost in getting up, get- 
ting in, and getting out. Besides it makes Drunkards of all our people. 
When the Harvest commences and the Whiskey or Brandy begin to 

* This sentiment is conveyed in one of the most beautiful Greek Hexameters 
whether sense or sound, morality or versification be considered, that ever was 
penned. 'AAAou aaWov ZdrjKe 0ebs 7' eViSeue'a (pwrSbv. 

t What may not be expected from Poland, Sicily, France, and other parts of 
Europe, and even from Mediterranean Asia (Notolia) and from Africa, where 
wheat is made at ;'>0 per cent less cost than here, [lit margin.'] 

X In order to have 20 effectives we are obliged to feed, clothe and pay the 
Taxes of 40 or 50 non-effectives. [In margin.] 


circulate, every body with us is flustered* The expel away 

with much of the Profit, and the little that remains hardly pays for the 
labor. Five or six Bushels for one are as much as we get from Corn 
fields; from Tobacco Lots not more than twenty to twenty live. '1 be 
labor of farming too is much more severe than that of planting, 
the Harvest lasts, and by no means so conducive to the Health of our 
Negroes, upon whose increase (" miserabile dictu ! "j our principal 
profit depends. Tobacco is not only an Antidote to Contagion but is 
to the poor negro a luxury. Under our old Corn and Tobacco Bystem 
our Lands improved more than they do at present. We all kept more 
stock, and more plentiful tables than now. Our Tobacco Lots 1 admit, 
monopolized all our Manure. But our Corn fields by being culti 
only once in three years, and not "put into wheat,'' afforded two con- 
stant Pastures, 3 when the corn was off, supported more numerous 
stocks and were kept in better Heart than now. Great stress might 
be laid upon the precariousness of the wheat crop and the greater 
certainty of Corn and Tobacco, upon the greater Capital, which few of 
us have, that Farming requires than Planting. Upon the wear 
tear of Team and Gear and Geoponical instruments of every kind. 
Upon our burning sun, which, after the month of June five years out 
of six, causes the clover and other Grasses f to crackle under our feet. 
Upon our scanty population of Whites, t the universal and inevitable 
consequence of Negro Slavery. For who can live, comfortably, in a 
free country, would migrate into a slave one? We see no Foreig 
of any note or mind coming to settle in Virginia. So long as Slavery 
exists we have no prospect of any change for the better. A regular 
system of progressive improvement in Agriculture is not to be expect d, 
for our Lawgivers have clinched the nail which Slavery has driven. 
Under the groundless and ludicrous fear, as I conceive, of a landed 
ARISTOCRACY, they have even deprived us o\ the Right to make our 
wills, as if property were the Creature of Society, instead of Soc 
being the (Venture of property. Lands are divided and sub livided in 
China even to Acres. But yet Despotism and a monied Aristocracy 
prevail there instead of a landed one. Of the two, 1 am Virginian 
enough, " Lord of the soil " enough, to prefer the latter, if, as it seems, 
we must have the one or the other. Under the sanction of our S 
Constitution we boast of our Freehold, and ot' our | 
in it. But the Laws have taken from it all permauency, and made it 

* In this slave country serious mischiefs may grow oul of tl is bj and by. 
[/// margin.] 

t Every thing hero this summer was burnt to a cinder, and even .. 
our mill ponds are all very low. [ In margin.] 

| These it will be seen by the Census next Near. 1 si:-- 

"pari passu " with the Blacks, notwithstanding the numer is - 
tions of the hitter to the new Countries. [In maryt*.] 


to shift and change with the Wind. In this state of things few 
will forego present enjoyment for future benefits which may or may 
not accrue to their own Posterity. Stability and the fair prospect of 
handing our landed Property down, from generation to generation, are 
the only stimuli to permanent improvement. These are taken away 
from us. The universal sentiment now is, with few exceptions, " It 
will last my time. If it remain in the family after me, let those who 
may hold it do the best they can with it, or sell it for what it will fetch, 
and migrate to the Westward." The consequence is that agriculture 
languishes, that all our antient Mansions in the lower Country are 
falling into Ruins, and those who have been accustomed to live in good 
Houses, unwilling to sink money on them in the Country, are flying to 
our Towns, where, if they build, they can sell again without much, if 
any, loss. Agriculture is thus left to overseers and negroes. The an- 
tient hospitality of this antient Dominion is dying away, our habits and 
our manners are changing, the virtuous simplicity and ingenuousness, by 
which the "prisca gens mortalium " was characterized, are vanishing 
before the ludicrous affectation, and fantastic Ostentation, which the 
" nova gens mortalium " is introducing into Fashion. Effeminacy and 
luxury and vanity and Folly, the common vices of all Towns, are 
creeping silently into the Country, and contaminating all classes of the 
Community. Our Agricultural Societies and agricultural Essays will 
avail us nothing so long as the present Fashion prevails, and this will 
continue until some radical change takes place in our " Codification.'' 1 
Some change more congenial with the notions and wishes of the people 
on the subject of Landed Property, upon the stability and uncontrouled 
descent of which, from generation to generation, according to the free 
and unrestrained will of the Possessor, depends the permanent exist- 
ence of liberty and happiness under every form of Government. 
For, after all, it is the landed property of every Country that makes 
and unmakes Governments; and when this property ceases to have 
hereditary stability, " Chaos is come again." When I use the word 
hereditary I use the language of Nature. The Land of our Fathers is 
that which we prize above all others.* 

" Reatus ille qui procul negotiis, 
Ut prisca gens mortalium, 
Paterna rura, bobus exercet suis." 

But, under the present order of things, the predilection for the 
"natale solum" is wearing away, and with it the very foundation of 
Patriotism. Those who exclaim " It does not signify in whose Hands 

* This is the language of Rousseau, whose "Social Contract" and "Consid- 
erations on the Government of Poland," are much quoted, little read, and still 
less digested by the Advocates of Liberty in these days. [In margin.] 

1010.] ■ LA vi.uv rj . i. ' . : I : I 

the landed property i-." are ignorant of bomi 

opinions, which, in their I lei 

aud much whether land be in the bandi ol tho 

\>y a thousand infantile recollections and cordial I 

who only estimate it. by the number <»t I* 

ready to part with it for ;i fen more Dollari than 

doubt which of the two will make I 

triots? \V<- bold our propert) of every kind, 

precarious tenure. "If to mitigate the i : 

the feelings of humanity/' and to 

perplexity and vexation which our i 

us, we invest our mouej in Banks and public Funds, 

fly from c\ il | I bal W6 h;i\ •• to those I 

subject I have long wi hed to open myself to j 
regard to the topics I have already touched on, 
for more than thirty years pasty) aln i 
excuse my error , or on \ our go 
Banks and public Funds, and general System 
a separate and distinct letter, which I will i 
shortly. In the meantime I beg yon will do me th 
my respectful esteem to Mr- Madison, and accept I 
long Btanding, Bincere and friendly regards ol &c 

Tho Reeds, near White Chimmis Po: 
Oct. LOth. 1818 : 

* " El patrlam venders auro." [In m i 
1 In " Writingi of James Madison," in. 103, Is ■ ' 
apparently in reply to this one, but printed u 







William Phineas Upham, for thirty years an active mem- 
ber of this Society, died at Newton, November 23, 1905, in his 
seventieth year. It is due to no lack of regard for his memory 
that the customary tribute has not been placed earlier upon 
our records. This the warm words from the President, when 
his death was announced, sufficiently attest. The duty of pre- 
paring a memorial of him was duly assigned, and most fitly, 
to our late associate, Mr. John Noble, who had been charged 
with supervising, as Clerk of the Courts, the important work 
which Mr. Upham undertook, in 1884, in behalf of the County 
of Suffolk and the Commonwealth. While my knowledge of 
his earlier career in Essex County was intimate, Mr. Noble's 
association with him covered the period of his later and more 
conspicuous service. But Mr. Noble died before the memoir 
was complete. 

Mr. Upham was born at Salem, January 19, 1836. One of 
the last of a numerous family to succumb, most of them in 
childhood, to pulmonary disease, his career was a protracted 
struggle with his insidious foe. He owed the last years which 
were vouchsafed him to the devotion of a wife, 1 who, with two 
daughters, survives him. His was a most useful and exem- 
plary life, and to those who enjoyed his intimacy, for he was a 
close friend, his memory is precious. 

A turn for antiquarian research was in the blood. His 
father, Charles Went worth Upham, a Harvard graduate of 
the Class of 1821, was for twenty years pastor of the historic 
First Church of Salem. Among many civic honors which he 

1 He had married, December 1, 1880, Cynthia Bailey Nourse, a lineal descend- 
ant of Rebecca Nourse, the witchcraft victim commemorated by Whittier. 

hr~f. UU^ 


enjoyed were a seat in the Massachusetts Constitutional Con- 
vention of 1853, the presidency of our State Senate, and a seat 
in Congress. He had been mayor of Salem. But his bent 
was for literature and study. He had been the president 
of Harvard chapter Alpha of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, 
and of the older organization, the Institute of 1770, and 
later a copious contributor to various literary and historical 
publications. He was a lecturer before the Lowell Institute, 
and also in behalf of the Board of Education in an effort to 
commend to public favor the Common-School System. He 
became an early, constant, and valued promoter of the work 
of the Essex Institute when that body in its formative years 
craved every one's support. He was allied, as his middle name 
suggests, with the distinguished family of Wentworth, and 
was born at St. John, New Brunswick, of a stock since colo- 
nial times identified with Massachusetts. His father, Joshua 
Upham, a native of Brookfield, was a Harvard graduate of the 
Class of 1763, an attorney-at-law in Boston and in New York, 
and later a Justice of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, 
from the organization of that Province. Six generations of 
New England deacons and Indian-fighting ancestors ranged 
themselves behind him. 

Charles Wentworth Upham had become, in 1832, a member 
of this Society, to resign his seat twenty years later, and to 
resume it for life in 1867. He died, succeeded by his son, in 
1875. His contributions to our publications and discussions 
were frequent and important. Doctor George E. Ellis, after- 
wards President of the Society, pronounced his eulogy at 
Salem and prepared his memoir; Vice-President Charles Fran- 
cis Adams announced his death; President Robert C. Win- 
throp recalled his youth ; and the resolutions passed bear 
" willing testimony to the usefulness of a long life spent in 
the performance of the duties to which lie was called in Church 
and State, as well as in the paths of letters and historical 
investigation." x His chief works were his account, in two 
volumes, of the witchcraft delusion at Salem, and the three 
concluding volumes with which he supplemented Octavius 
Pickering's opening chapters of the life of Timothy Pickering. 

The mother of the subject of this memoir was a daughter 
of Doctor Abiel Holmes, for forty years the venerated pastor 

1 1 Proa, xiv. 103 ; xv. 182. 


of the First Church at Cambridge, — a pioneer in American 
historical wilting. He was a graduate of Yale, an honorary 
Artium Maghter and overseer of Harvard, and for many years 
our Corresponding Secretary. His father had been a provin- 
cial captain in the French and Indian War. John Holmes, 
the great-grandfather of Doctor Abiel Holmes, had removed 
from Roxbury to become one of the earliest settlers of Wood- 
stock, in Connecticut, and there Doctor Abiel Holmes, the 
annalist, was born. He had married, first, a daughter of Ezra 
Stiles, — an earlier and no less distinguished New England 
chronicler, diarist, historian, and scholar, " accounted, both at 
home and abroad, as the most learned and accomplished di- 
vine of the day in this country," the long-time president of 
Yale, and a Corresponding Member of this Society. The sec- 
ond wife of Doctor Abiel Holmes was Sarah, a daughter of 
Judge Oliver Wendell, — a pre-revolutionary Boston mer- 
chant, colonel, executive councillor, and judge of probate, — 
and she was the mother of his children. Anne Bradstreet, 
called in Mather's Magnalia " The Tenth Muse," — the daugh- 
ter of one colonial governor and the wife of another, — was 
counted among the ancestry of Doctor Abiel Holmes, as well 
as of Judge Oliver Wendell, contributing of her gifts and 
graces to the common stock. Her descendant, Mrs. Upham, 
was no stranger to the graces of the pen. In 1801, she dedi- 
cated to the Salem Drill Club, in which one of her sons was 
leaving home for the front, a spirited ode, written to " Scots 
wha hae wi' Wallace bled ! " the refrain of which was, " For- 
ward ! Every Man ! " This was well received, and showed 
once more that the lyric gift is not incompatible with the 
function of motherhood. Anne Bradstreet is credited with at 
least eight children. But, if Doctor Ellis is correct, Mrs. Upham 
was the mother of fifteen. 

So that young Upham came, on either side, of the best 
New England blood. His father, his maternal grandfather, and 
in addition his two uncles, Oliver Wendell Holmes and John 
Holmes, were all associated, in one way or another, with this 
honorable body. His middle name, Phineas, which means 
"first-born," Mr. Upham derived from a Lieutenant Phineas 
Upham, — the first Upham born in New England, — who per- 
ished in 1675-76 in the Swamp Fight with the Narragansetts. 
The name recurs through all the generations. 


When Mr. Uphara was growing up, the family were living 
on the site of the home from which, in 1692, Bridget Bishop 
had been dragged forth to suffer death by process of law for 
her alleged complicity with the powers of evil. Just across 

the way was the site of the residence of that pastor of the First 
Chnreh who denounced and excommunicated the accused, and 
opened with prayer the witchcraft trials. Mr. Upham's lather, 
then in the same pulpit, was deeply immersed in examining 
the occult phenomena of witchcraft, and had already deli\ ■ 
before the Salem Lyceum, a course of lectures on the ensur- 
ing theme, afterwards developed, through two editions, into 
his standard, historical treatment of the terrible delus 
The young son's active fancy was not slow to enlist him in the 
local researches incident to his father's work. Probably do 
other scholar ever made himself so thoroughly familiar with the 
situs of the witchcraft frenzy, and the documents relating to 
it. When the final edition of 18G7 reached the press, the 
critical examination of court records and of real-estate titles 
contributed by the son, and represented throughout the book 
by plans and maps and topographical statements, had become 
so salient a feature of the work as to make it felt by his friends 
that, but for the ties of blood, the generous acknowledgment 
made by the author would have been still more emphatic. An 
amusing incident, perhaps not wholly out of place even in a 
paper of this nature, shows the extent to which young Upham 
had, early in life, become imbued with the atmosphere of the 
paternal roof. I was sitting by the mother, at a Salem-Infantry 
dance in Hamilton Hall, during my law-school days, and I 
called her attention to the evident enjoyment which her sen 
was deriving from the scene. l ' My dear sir," Mrs. Upham re- 
plied, " no one can imagine the relief 1 feel to see William 
show any interest in a woman who has been born since 1 
Mr. Noble confirms this view, in writing of Mr. Upham just 
after his death. IC I knew little," he says, "of his personal 
life, lie never spoke >,)[' it, and though we were together all 
those twenty years, it was only his work on the Records that 
we talked about, — the doings o( two centuries ago." 

With such antecedents ami with such hereditary lean 
young Upham was fitted for Cambridge in the i\ 
Salem schools of Ins day, passed through Harvard with credit, 
and took his bachelor's degree, in due QOUrse, in L856, with 


a class which counted in its membership the President of this 
Societ}-, our late associate members, Stephen Salisbury and 
George Bigelow Chase, and such conspicuous citizens as 
George Dexter Robinson and Jeremiah Smith. While in 
college, Mr. Upham had taught a district school — a common 
practice of the time — in Canton for a winter or two. He 
read law in the Dane Law School for a year, and then in the 
Salem offices of David Roberts, a writer on admiralty law, 
afterwards mayor of Salem, and of William Gardner Choate, 
later a judge of the Federal District Court in New York City. 
Mr. Upham was admitted to the Bar in 1859, and opened 
offices successively in Danvers and in Salem, devoting himself 
mainly to practice in the Probate Court. From this time on, 
he was gaining a minute acquaintance with the ancient 
probate records of Essex County, thus unwittingly fitting 
himself, before undertaking his labors in the service of the 
Commonwealth, for the stupendous task of classifying and 
indexing the vast and ever-growing accumulations which 
congest our files. 

If Mr. Upham was at all times without a stock of reserved 
strength upon which to draw, he made up for the lack of it 
by his nervous energy, his cheerful temper and his high 
spirits. I well remember an interview I had with his dis- 
tinguished uncle, not long before his death. Doctor Holmes 
told me that he had but recently tested the nephew's physical 
condition, — that it was hopeless, and that he could not give 
him six months to live. But the nephew was found in his 
place with the group that gathered at the uncle's grave and 
outlived him by a dozen years. Says Mr. Noble, who watched 
with a discerning eye Mr. Upham's waning strength, " Noth- 
ing but his inflexible determination and his indomitable 
courage carried him through, sustained by the unremitting 
devotion of his wife. . . . Courage and pluck were marked 
characteristics from boyhood. His companions, from the 
early days, recall him as a leader and champion among them. 
His slight frame never excluded him from the ranks of the 

The extinguishment of fires was not, before the Civil War, 
the purely mechanical process it has now become, but rather 
partook of the nature of a neighborly, social function, as had 
been still more the case in the century before 1750 when 


the whole town, women and all, took a hand at a fire. After- 
ward select fire-clubs knitted together the best citizen-hip 
of the place, and pledged the best efforts of every club-man 
in behalf of his threatened neighbor. Fire-clubs origins 
with Franklin in Philadelphia in 1737. An account of a 
meeting, in 1768, of Harrison Gray's Boston Fire-Club, in- 
cluding such names as Lovell, Faneuil, and Boylston, enlivens 
a volume of this Society's Proceedings. 1 The Essex Institute 
has printed a monograph 2 on the early Fire-Clubs of Salem, 
— sixteen of them between 1783 and 1832. In it occurs this 
significant reference to Mr. Upham. In the disastrous Frank- 
lin building fire of October 21, 18G0, the property of Mr. 
James Emerton, a member of the Naumkeag Fire-Club, " was 
greatly imperilled. . . . Mr. Emerton's store was occupied by 
some of the members of the Club until the fire was under 
control." The secretary of the club (in his official record) 
remarks: "extraordinary efforts in the duties belonging to 
the practised fireman were made by some of our members. 
On this occasion the efforts were well timed, judicious and 
effective. One instance of the cool bravery and energy of 
a young member, one who finds his Alma Mater in 
Harvard, may be particularized. He was on the roof . . . 
spreading sails and throwing buckets of water on them, and 
performing this duty with the same composure with which 
one would water a flower-garden." This young member was 
William P. Upham. The secretary, in another allusion to the 
incident, says, Mr. Upham and I " held the sails down on 
the roof for hours. It was plain that he was a much bolder 
fireman than I. It was a cold, drizzling rain-storm at the 
time." This incident in the life of a young man, in 
frailest health, a stranger to rough work, is certainly note- 
worthy, and chimes in well with the grit he showed in later 
life when he would come toiling up my office stairs and meet 
my greeting with, kk Don't you think I am doing pretty well to 
keep myself above ground all these years'/" 

Being advised that practical farming held out some hop - 
for the invigoration of his health, he secured a modest acreage 
in West Peabody, where he could live within easy reach of the 
Registry of Deeds and the Probate offices at Salem, ami at 
the same time might, Antauis-like, keep in touch with Mother 
1 "2 True., \. <'>S. - Hist. Coll. EtS86X Institute, \\\i\. SB 8 


Earth, — might watch his growing crops and scent the new- 
mown hay, the breath of kine and the odors of the fresh- 
turned sod. Later it was felt that a drier, inland air might be 
more helpful still. It was then that he removed his residence 
to Newtonville, a ward of Newton, forming new business rela- 
tions under our late associate, the Clerk of the Courts, — a 
scholar of life-long antiquarian tastes, and of approved judg- 
ment in historical research, — at that time much engaged, 
under the inspiring auspices of the late Chief- Justice Gray, 
himself an antiquary of no mean pretensions (as witness the 
learned note appended to volume ix. of Gray's Supreme- 
Court Reports), in bringing to light and properly arranging, 
transcribing, mounting and indexing the hidden treasures of 
the Court-House vaults. 

Mr. Upham's contributions to the volumes of the Essex Insti- 
tute, dating from 1863, speak for themselves. A mere cata- 
logue of them is all that space will warrant, but the student 
of our local antiquities will ask no more. Beside these 
printed contributions, he devoted all his leisure to an endless 
variety of official work. It was said of his uncle, Doctor 
Holmes, that through most of his life he followed four 
laborious professions, either of which would have been bur- 
den enough for the common man. He was at once a volumi- 
nous writer, a ubiquitous lyceum lecturer, a busy family 
physician, and a working professor at the Medical School. 
Upham was doing, outside of his profession, during the first 
half of his mature years, an amount of exacting work which 
showed once more, if the demonstration were needed after 
Carlyle and Whittier, what a heavy load a feeble man can 
bear. Whatever no one else was at hand to do fell to him. 
During most of these early years the Institute was living 
from hand to mouth, wholly without funds, and resorting to 
personal solicitation to meet specific and imperative demands. 
In May, 1863, Mr. Upham became a member of the publica- 
tion committee and also the curator of manuscripts, holding 
the latter position until his death, and for nineteen years he 
served as librarian. 

Mr. Upham's first printed contribution was a memoir of 
General John Glover of Marblehead, prompted by the interest 
which his descendant, Benjamin Tyler Read, a classmate of 
the elder Upham, felt in his distinguished ancestor, and this 


interest led to the erection of the statue of Glover which stands 
near the entrance of Commonwealth Avenue, in Boston. He 
early enlisted in the enterprise of publishing, in the Institute 
Bulletin, a critical account of the first houses built in Salem, 
— a series of four most valuable papers widely quoted and 
later reproduced. When Mr. Upham completed his transcrip- 
tion of the Town Records of Salem, covering the years from 
1634 to 1659, — the first ever attempted, — it was at once put 
in print, and became volume IX. of the Institute's Historical 
Collections, and has been ever since in such demand that the 
book may generally be recognized on the shelf from its being 
either newly bound or without whole covers. So the White 
Murder Trial may be found, without recourse to the index, 
from the soiled and worn condition of the paper, in a Salem 
copy of Whipple's Collection of Webster's Great Speeches. 
His numerous communications indicate the trend of his thought 
and show what an indefatigable worker he was. Among them 
may be mentioned an account of the dedication of the Rebecca 
Nourse Monument, the erection of which was due to him ; l the 
Beverly First Church Records, carefully copied by him, which 
appeared in six successive volumes of the Institute Collections; 
Craft's Journal of the Siege of Louisburg, with notes ; Deposi- 
tions relating to Philip English and the Witchcraft Delusion ; 
a History of Stenography ; an Account of the Dwelling- 
Houses of Francis Higginson, Samuel Skelton, Roger Williams 
and Hugh Peter ; a Letter of Samuel Sewall, with a biographi- 
cal sketch; Extracts from Letters 2 written at the time of the 
occupation of Boston by the British ; a Memoir of General 
John Glover of Marblehead ; Notes on the Report as to the 
authenticity of the First Meeting-House in Salem ; Papers re- 
lating to the Reverend Samuel Skelton ; Papers relating to a 
Suit, in 1664, between John Pickering and the owners of the 

1 The monument stands on the Nourse homestead estate in Danvers, and bears 
these lines, contributed by Whittier : 

" ! Christian Martyr ! 

who for Truth could die, 
When all about thee 

owned the hideous Lie ! 
The world, redeemed 

from Superstition's sway, 
Is breathing freer 

for thy sake to-day." 

2 Largely Wendell family letters. 


'• New Mill," now the " City Mills," in Salem ; the Pedigree 
of the "Browne Family"; Records of the First Church at 
Salisbury, 1687-1805; Town Records of Salem, 1634-1659, 
carefully copied and annotated by him ; " First Houses in 
Salem," printed in the Essex Institute Bulletin. 

The estimate in which Mr. Upham was held by the Essex 
Institute is attested by the Memorial of its Board of Direc- 
tors, recording " their appreciation of that devoted interest 
which he constantly displayed toward the Institute," and re- 
ferring to his long and valuable aid freely given as Librarian 
to "Doctor Wheatland, in fostering the growth of a collection 
which has now become one of the largest and most important 
in the country," and to " his frequent contributions to the 
Historical Collections of the Institute," which " aided materi- 
ally in placing them among the more important publications 
of the Learned Societies of the United States," and to " his 
punctilious exactness, his courtesy and his cheerful readiness 
to be of service at all times to the Society, and to his associ- 
ates." A report of his doings as Curator of Manuscripts for 
forty-one years, which proved to be his last report, is printed 
in the proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Institute, in 
May, 1905. 

Mr. Upham was a member of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, of the Essex Institute, and of the American Library 
Association, a corresponding member of the Rhode Island 
Historical Society, and a life member of the American Histori- 
cal Association. He never cared to extend his membership to 
other societies, though invited, saying that he could not attend 
to more. He was an honorary member of the Phi Beta Kappa, 
chapter Alpha, of Harvard University. 

He was elected a Resident Member of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, November 11, 1875, and was a most inter- 
ested and valued member to the end of his life. He was a 
member of the Committee to nominate officers in 1877, 1878, 
1879 and 1880, and of the Committee on the Library and 
Cabinet in 1891. 

His contributions were numerous and important, — some- 
times of manuscripts and documents, sometimes of brief notes 
and references, sometimes of elaborate and exhaustive papers. 
To recount some of the titles will show their extent and va- 
riety ; among them were heliotype copies of papers relating to 


Major Robert Pike ; Winthrop's chart of 1630, and his map of 
eastern Massachusetts; shorthand in Lawrence Hammond's 
Journal; Governor Leverett's instructions to Captain i> 
Henchman ; shorthand in one of Jonathan Danforth's plans ; 
the Suffolk Court Files; manuscripts in custody of the Bi 
Athenaeum ; the Canada expedition of 1747 ; hook of copies 
of Edward Taylor; shorthand of Jonathan Edwards; works 
in the Library on shorthand; Memoir of John Glen King and 
Memoir of Henry Wheatland. 

Before approaching what may well be accounted as Mr. 
Upham's life-work, and which fortunately Mr. Noble, before 
his illness, was able for the most part to describe in word- so 
well chosen that it oidy remains for me to make them mine, 
let me dwell in some detail on Mr. Upham's labors in the 
records of Essex County, and on his life-long and very deep 
interest in the study and practice of shorthand writing, — an 
ancient art, just now galvanized into new life by the demand 
for rapid dictation created by modern type-writing machinery. 

Mr. Upham's interest in stenography and its cognate branches 
was early enlisted, and lingered late. He printed his first 
paper on the subject in the Essex Institute Historical Collec- 
tions for 1877, dealing briefly with the history of the art, and 
outlining a new method of phonetic shorthand devised by him- 
self. Another paper followed in the Proceedings of the Histori- 
cal Society for 1892, on shorthand in Hammond's Journal : a 
third, in 1894, on the shorthand of Jonathan Edwards. The 
series closed with the last communication he laid before this 
Society, in which, in November, 1902, he reviewed all the 
works on the subject to be found on our shelves. 

It appears that his great-grandmother Holmes used some 
system of shorthand, that she sat under the preaching of Doctor 
Dwight, and that she reported his sermons. — the first woman- 
stenographer cyi record in New England. It appears that Gov- 
ernor Endecott used a shorthand method o( his own in his 
court records, and elsewhere, and Governor Brad street re- 
ported the witchcraft trials in shorthand. The Salem town- 
clerk, Ralph Fogg, and the parson of Salem Village, the Rev- 
erend Samuel Parris, both used shorthand. It was a Hither 
common accomplishment with people of quality in those days, 
but each writer seems to have indulged himself in a system of 
his own. Sonic live hundred methods, in all, have been eata- 


logued. Since A. n. 1300, the use of systems of one sort or 
another lias been common in England, and the general em- 
ployment, both in England and America, of shorthand in mak- 
ing court, legislative and parliamentary reports and in business 
and personal correspondence, has quite vindicated the claim it 
makes to economic value. It is commended as "swift, secret 
and a key to strange tongues." It has its history, its literature, 
its cult, its high-priests and its organs. Undoubted reference 
to Greek systems is found as early as A.D. 195. Xenophon is 
thought to have reported Socrates in shorthand. Pepys's Diary 
was written in shorthand. Fifty-four editions of Metcalfe's 
System of Shorthand had appeared before 1700. If, as is gen- 
erally supposed, shorthand was in common use in Shakespeare's 
day, that fact would go far to account for the varied readings 
of his text. Parliament was panic-stricken when it was first 
proposed to print verhatiyn reports of what was said in its 
halls; but the right of reporting its debates in shorthand has 
not been questioned since 1802. England supports shorthand 
weekly journals and monthly periodicals, read by from thirty- 
five to fifty thousand persons. Knighthood was conferred, in 
1894, on Sir Isaac Pitman, for his system, which has been 
taught to ninety-one thousand students in England, and has been 
adopted as the text book for the schools of New York. From 
the systems in use until the eleventh century, supposed to have 
been developed from the Greek by Cicero's centenarian freed- 
man and biographer, Tiro, down through the eight or nine 
hundred modern systems, the art has stood its ground and re- 
tained its votaries. The British Museum shows some of Tiro's 

The Boston Organ of Stenography spoke thus of Uphain's 
work in its sketch of him, "In his death the shorthand pro- 
fession, and particularly those who are interested in the history 
and literature of shorthand, have suffered ^n irreparable 
loss." And the Federal Bureau of Education, in its report 
of 1884, names, in its catalogue of recognized systems of 
shorthand, the work of Upham. Of course all this life-long 
study of the theory and practice of phonetics, the fruit of 
which must for the most part perish with him, stood him 
in good stead when the time came for him to decipher manu- 
scripts of the colonial period which had before his day defied 
interpretation. When our associate, Ford, in 1902, found 


himself unable to interpret the Cotton manuscript, lie tui 
in his need, he says, "to Mr. Upham, — to the one man who 
is so entirely able as to leave no doubt of the correctness of 
his reading." 

Essex is the maritime county of Massachusetts. One hun- 
dred miles of the county's outline — about two thirds of the 
entire boundary — are washed by tide-water. It lias five ■_ 
harbors, and a score of off-shore islands held by every 
of title. Moreover, the lordly Merrimac ski its its northern 
frontier for thirty miles, with the incidents of town-landings, 
and rights of ferryage, and ancient mill-rights attaching to 
it and to its tributary streams. The county, too. has its 
fair share of the "Great Ponds" of the Commonwealth, with 
all their closely guarded rights of fishing, ice-cutting, boating 
and bathing. In tracing these intricate riparian and littoral 
rights, many of them relating back to the earliest grants. — 
rights to clam-fisheries and fresh-water fisheries and tide-mill 
privileges, and ship-building privileges, with beach-rights to 
the gathering of kelp and eel-grass and to the husbanding 
the soil of mussel-beds and clam-flats, and rights of water- 
supply, these last vital to the dozen cities and large towns of 
the county, all often drawn into litigation, — no county affords 
a more constant field for the antiquary who is also a lawyer. 
In this field the average practitioner is none too well equipped. 
And here town and county officers and, at last, the Common- 
wealth, found themselves inclined to turn to Mr. Upham. 

Mr. Upham's specific services to the County of Essex were 
threefold. Between 1859 and 1884 he revised the Pro 
indexes for the two centuries embraced between the j 
1638 and 1840, grouping surnames alphabetically in consecu- 
tive volumes covering convenient periods of years, — the given 
names under each surname being arranged alphabetically also, 
— and introducing a system which took root and has sur- 
vived. During these twenty-five years he made the first 
revised index of grantors and grantees in the Essex R 
try of Deeds, covering the years from 1820 to L855. Bi 
this, deeds were indexed in the order in which they were re- 
ceived for record. His system was adopted and ultimately 
extended through the earlier and the later years. And before 
1869 he completed, for the County Commissioners of Ess \. 
the mounting o( sixteen folio volumes o( the early Court l" I - 


of the County. The extent to which all succeeding practi- 
tioners at the bar are laid under obligations by this rare 
demonstration of patience, energy and skill is best appreciated 
by those conveyancers who had occasion to look up Essex 
County land-titles and probate records before 1860. 

For the last twenty years of his life Mr. Upham was en- 
gaged in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court 
for Suffolk County, in work upon what have been designated 
as the "Early Court Files," — a term covering a vast ag- 
gloineration of papers which embrace not only the files of the 
highest courts of the Colony, the Province, and the Common- 
wealth before 1800, but also papers relating to other courts of 
the Colony and of the Province, as well as both originals and 
certified copies of records, documents and matter of various 
sorts which had been used in, or come into the possession and 
custody of, the Court of Assistants and the Superior Court of 
Judicature. This is not the place to attempt to describe 
them. An exhaustive description of them, with some account 
of the history of this unique mass and of the whole matter, 
from the pen of Mr. Noble, may be found in the Publications 
of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts (in. 317). The 
manuscripts were in bad condition, scattered about in many 
places, exposed to depredations of all kinds and to ultimate 
loss. Some of them were in almost the last stages of decay. 
Chief-Justice Gray had long been specialty interested in them, 
and anxious that measures should be taken for their rescue, 
collection, lodgment in security, and arrangement for con- 
venient reference and use. 

Between 1875 and 1880, efforts were made, by the Chief- 
Justice and the State in conjunction, to carry out this purpose, 
but delays of various kinds occurred; and it was only after Judge 
Gray was on the Bench of the Supreme Court of the United 
States that the object was attained. In October, 1883, an order 
passed by the Board of Aldermen of Boston, acting as County 
Commissioners, and approved by the Mayor, provided "that 
the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court of Suffolk be author- 
ized to arrange conveniently for examination and reference 
the Early Files in Suffolk County." An appropriation was 
made and the Clerk was further authorized to " employ such 
assistance as will be required." An order of the Supreme 
Judicial Court, through its then Chief-Justice Morton, was 


made, providing that its Clerk " in pursuance and further- 
ance of the order of the Board of Aldermen . . . be directed to 
remove all the Court Files and papers wheresoever the same 
may be . . . to such room in the Court House as he may he 
authorized to take for the purpose of carrying out and execut- 
ing said Order; and to take all necessary and appropriate 
measures therefor." A room in the Court House was secured, 
and the papers brought together from their various places of 
deposit. Their volume could only be estimated roughly in 
terms of cubic bulk. A general plan of operations was agreed 
upon, and a fit person was to be found to take charge of the 
immediate details of repairing, reducing to order and mounting 
this heterogeneous mass. Mr. Upham, from his success in 
dealing with the sixteen volumes of Essex court manuscripts, 
seemed to be marked out for this work, and his services were 
secured. In December, 1883, he approached the task with a 
single expert assistant. His force was gradually increased 
until it numbered twelve. The papers were first arranged by 
centuries, then by decades, and finally by their exact dates. 
Then papers belonging to the same case, or relating to the 
same subject-matter, which had been scattered in many groups, 
were brought into their normal relation. Many papers were 
badly mutilated, and the missing fragments, as far as possible, 
had to be found and put in place. Often they were crumbling 
to pieces and so frail that the utmost dexterity and delicacy 
of handling were called for. Some were caked into solid 
paper bricks, to be separated only by the use of solvents and 
by patient manipulation. Extreme care and skill were every- 
where demanded. 

It is a matter of deep regret, Mr. Noble feelingly remarks. 
that Mr. Upham could not have lived to see the consumma- 
tion of an undertaking that w T as, in its way, stupendous. For 
the service demanded of him qualifications which are very ex- 
ceptional, — a patience that never failed, an industry that never 
flagged, systematic methods and habits never intermitted. 
high standards of execution, broad and exact knowledge o\ 
colonial and provincial history, and a ready familiarity with all 
that had been written concerning it. His fitness had been 
recognized by his classmate, Governor Robinson, in naming 
him on a commission to systematize the State Archives, He 
entered upon the service with an enthusiasm that would have 


sustained him to the end had not the time come when shattered 
health compelled him to pause and finally to stop. 

The work upon the collection of " Early Court Files," so 
called, had gone on without interruption for more than 
twenty-three years. When finished, the collection will con- 
tain — this is Mr. Noble's estimate — over one hundred and 
twenty-five thousand, possibly two hundred thousand, sepa- 
rate cases or matters, some including but a single paper, some 
fifty and upward, and a few from one hundred to one hundred 
and fifty. The whole number of individual papers will exceed 
a million. When Mr. Noble died, some twelve hundred and 
fifty large folio volumes were already on the shelves, and prob- 
ably there will be, in the end, nearly or quite fifteen hundred. 

Other work of a like nature was going on during these 
years in the Clerk's office. It was proposed to transcribe, 
print and distribute the records of the Courts held between 
1630 and 1692 by the Governor and Assistants, this being the 
highest judicial tribunal sitting in the Colony from, the time 
of the settlement to the date of the provincial charter. Of 
these records there is extant a single complete volume, bound 
in vellum, — mostly in Rawson's handwriting, and well pre- 
served, — which covers the dates between 1673 and 1692. 
This completes the line of records of the highest court from 
1673, through the Colony, the Province and the Common- 
wealth, to the present day. Scattered records are found in 
the State Archives and elsewhere, but they are incomplete, and 
when they have been reprinted they have been unsatisfactorily 
transcribed. The object was to produce a consecutive, reli- 
able account of the doings of our highest court from the begin- 
ning. In pursuance of this design, the files not only of Suffolk 
but of Essex and Middlesex as well, and, in fact, of the record 
offices of the Common wealth and of the older States of the Union, 
were ransacked, that nothing might escape notice which could 
contribute to so rare a consummation. It was found advisable to 
begin the publication with the volume in the Clerk's office cov- 
ering the period between 1673 and 1692, though this was the 
latest and not the earliest period to be covered by the research. 

This had been a long desired object. The volume was too 
valuable and too frail to be subjected to ordinary handling, 
and was in fact a sealed book to all not versed in archaic pen- 
manship. A copy accordingly had been made by an expert 


some years before. This was placed in the hands of the 
printer, and at this stage of the work the services of Mr. 
Upham were secured, to read the proof, to see the galleys 
through the press and to assist in other ways. Much new 
type was required for special characters, and here Mr. Upham's 
experience and taste were in requisition. While the printing 
was going on, material for filling the gaps was collecting. 
Everything outside Massachusetts in record offices and else- 
where had already been secured. The second volume, to 
cover the years from 1630 to 1643-44, was begun. Mr. 
Upham verified the copy by the manuscripts in the State 
Archives and by the Barlow copy, and it was made an exact 
reproduction so far as manuscript may be reproduced in print. 
This had been the aim throughout. Maiw liberties had been 
taken in making the reprint in the Massachusetts Colony 
Records. Every faulty reading and error was now corrected, 
and absolute accuracy in every point is believed to have been 
secured in these Records of the Court of Assistants. 

Two volumes have been issued, I. in 1901 and II. in 1904. 
At the time of Mr. Upham's death nearly a fourth of volume 
in. was in plate and some further pages were in proof. 

It was in his work on these volumes that Mr. Upham took 
especial pride, as it gave full play to his rare qualifications. 
His knowledge of early colonial history, his antiquarian tastes 
and his untiring research were of a unique value. The 
merest fragment of a record was suggestive, and there was at 
once a recognition of what it represented or bore upon, and 
where something might be found to explain and illustrate it. 

"But for his faithful and invaluable services throughout 
the more than twenty years we worked together," says Mr. 
Noble in closing, "the perfection of accomplishment which he 
aimed at, in the details of all this work, would have been 
impossible. Here was the almost entire occupation of these 
years of his life, and he regarded the result as his best monu- 
ment of labor and achievement. For that reason so much 
space has been here given to an account of it, and for the 
further reason that nothing illustrates better his habits oi 
mind, his methods of work, his skill and knowledge in his 
chosen field, and in so many ways the leading characteristics 
of the man." 



The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 10th instant, 
at three o'clock, p. M. ; the senior Vice-President, Samuel A. 
Green, in the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved ; 
and the Librarian read the list of donors to the Library during 
the last month. 

The Vice-President, for the Corresponding Secretary, re- 
ported the receipt of a letter from Samuel W. McCall, of 
Winchester, accepting his election as a Resident Member of 
the Society. 

He also reported that the Council has accepted the deposit 
of the Knox Papers of the New England Historic Genealogical 
Society on the conditions contained in a vote of the Council of 
that Society on February 2, 1910. 

Announcement was made of the gift to the Society by 
Archibald Murray Howe, of Cambridge, of the papers of 
James Murray and Thomas Aston Coffin, loyalists, to be 
known as the " James Murray Robbins " collection. The 
letter of gift follows: 

Boston, February 2, 1910. 
Charles Francis Adams, Esq., 

President of Massachusetts Historical Society. 

My dear Sir, — I take pleasure in giving to the Society a collec- 
tion of manuscripts of the Murray family and its connections. 

Their history is told in the preface of " Letters of James Murray, 
Loyalist," edited by Nina Moore Tiffany and Susan I. Lesley, printed 
in 1901. 

Believing that they will be better safe-guarded and more accessible 
to historical students in the Historical Society than in private hands, I 
give them, with the understanding that they are to be freely used by 
any person honestly interested in historical research. 

It is my wish that this collection shall be known as the " James 
Murray Robbins" collection. 


I hope in the future to add to it manuscripts still in the posa 
heirs of Mr. Robbins, who was a member of your Society. 1 
Very sincerely yours, 

Archibald Murray Howe. 

Governor Long reported for the Committee appointed by 
the Council at 11k; last meeting to oppose the change of the 

name of Dudley Square to Bale Square, that they had 
sented a remonstrance on the subject to tin- Mayor, and that 
the Board of Aldermen had declined to make the change. 

Dr. John Collins Warren, of Boston, was elected a Res 
Member of the Society, and Edward Doubleday Hani-, of 
York, a Corresponding Member. 

Governor Long presented a memoir of James Mad 
Barker, and Mr. Stanwood one of Egbert Coffin Smyth. 

Mr. Mead read, for Professor Hart, who was unab 
present, the following account of the recent celebration at 
Geneva of the four-hundredth anniversary of the birth of 
John Calvin, which he, and Mr. Mead also, attended as dele- 
gates of the Society : 

The Quater-Centenary Festiviths at Geneva. 

To the world at large Geneva seems a place of peace: it 
lies in a smiling region, far from such centres of turmoil as 
St. Petersburg, Barcelona and Pittsburg; it was the seat of 
the famous Geneva Arbitration of 1ST- ; the Geneva Conven- 
tion is a landmark in the history of neutrality. Nevertb 
Geneva is and lias been for centuries a centre o[ strife and 
contention. Right here Caesar and the Gauls began thai 
test which was intended to furnish a beginner's Latin text 
later school-boys. Here Farel and Calvin plained the s 
of reform and set. up an independent Protestant state. Here 
their loving neighbor and former lord, the Puke of Savoy, 
watched his chance ami, in 1602, by the Escalade came 
extinguishing this torch oi' modernism. The whole history of 
Geneva is seasoned with si rife. Among her children ' 
Necker, the financier, Madame de Stael, Rousseau and A 
Gallatin, — none o( them exactly peacemakers ; and Volt 
was a near neighbor. 

1 'J Proo.. in. 806. 


To this day these ancient feuds are unextinguished. Of 
late years this independent and Protestant stronghold has 
been invaded by people from the French territory which 
nearly surrounds the city ; and there is a distinct rivalry be- 
tween the native and the immigrant elements, though as in 
Boston the new-comers take on more or less of the spirit of 
the place. There are more Catholics than Protestants in the 
"State," — that is, the city and surrounding country districts; 
and the two confessions clash in the city government and in 
social life. Nevertheless the Protestant influence is still domi- 
nant; a great Salle de la Reformation has been built as a 
centre of Protestantism ; and the recognized protagonist of 
Geneva, whether looked upon as saint or as iconoclast, is 
still John Calvin. 

In the week of festivities in July, 1909, it was found ex- 
pedient to disentangle the threads of state polic}- so that the 
celebrations of the two institutions of public education should 
not commit the state to approval of Calvin and all his works. 
With some difficulty a movement was headed off for a Servetus 
celebration to be held in the same streets and at the same time 
as the Calvin function. For there is in Geneva a Servetus 
cult, principally by free-thinkers who erroneously adopt him as 
an exponent of protest against all religion. Fortunately the 
city fathers saw too many explosive elements in this hand-to- 
hand revival of a controversy four centuries old. As eventually 
arranged, the festival week included four celebrations, — the 
Church, the College, the Calvin Memorial, and the University, 
with the addendum of the Historical Pageant. All these events 
were interlaced and subdivided. But out of the diversity came 
the unity of a big good time. 

Geneva is what is called in America a convention city : in 
twelve months twenty-six international bodies of various kinds 
are said to have met there. Abundant and good hotels, a cen- 
tral situation, and beautiful surroundings make the city a place 
of world pilgrimage. For this occasion extra preparations were 
made, beginning some three years ago. Each delegate received 
a packet on reaching his hotel, containing a literature of in- 
formation : the Schola Grenevensis, an account of the College ; 
Les Jubilees de Geneve, which is a whole illustrated magazine, 
including portraits of distinguished delegates ; little booklets 
such as Au Pays de Geneve, with lively colored prints ; a Petit 


Guide Pratique; a set of special stamps; even a pamphlet od 
Esperanto, which might be expected where Profe JOi f I 
was a delegate. 

Most elaborate preparations were made also for the social 
pleasure of the guests. Each of the delegates was assigix 
a hotel, the bills to be "on the house." The State ol I i 
gave a banquet. The University was the centre and Beat of 
a great part of the festivities; and the most bountiful private 
hospitality was afforded. The Genevese are canny people; 
and a resident Englishman asserts that one day Ik,- -aw a 
woman knocked down by an automobile in the streets; she 
was unconscious. "Is she Genevese?" he asked; I 
sured that she was, he put into her hand a five-franc j 
the fist closed, the case was proved thus nut to be critical. 
Perhaps it is the watchfulness of ancestors for five-franc 
pieces that makes possible the unstinted and generous hos- 
pitality of the present. The wealthy Genevese make little 
show in their own living, but on public occasions they throw 
open their beautiful town houses and country villas. Din- 
ners and garden parties follow each other, and boats arc 
tered at the expense of individuals, which carry hundreds of 
people at a time on long lake trips. Special provision was 
made for the ladies while their husbands were attending state 
dinners and other masculine duties. The only thing that the 
authors of the fetes did not seem to include was a useful pre- 
liminary smoker with opportunities for easy acquaintance and 
intercourse among delegates. 

All these preparations and expectations were conditioned 
by the weather. The report ran that certain fervent Catholics 
had for forty days been praying that it might rain; whether 
for that cause or some other, the week was consistently rainy. 
— some people came to Geneva and went away without once 
seeing the sun. Still there were dry intervals, and the old 
with its steep roofs and twin cathedral towers is picturesque 
in all weathers. 

First ol* the series was the celebration o( the founding of 
Calvin's church. Geneva is the place to learn the intrici 
of the Protestant revolution. Though Luther seemed to the 
prelates o( his time a destroyer, the Lutheran Church, like 
the English, retained muoh of the doctrine and some of the 
forms ol' the parent church. The Reformed Church, of which 


Calvin was the apostle, was a much wider departure, included 
principles of freedom which ultimately led to free civil govern- 
ment, and was often at odds with the Lutherans. There must 
have been a magic foment in religious principles which could 
arouse people so diverse as the Scotch, the English Independ- 
ents, the Dutch, the French, the Western Germans, and the 
New Englanders. The wide spread of Calvinistic doctrine 
and philosophy was shown by the number of delegates, — not 
only from the countries mentioned, but from South Africa, and 
from Hungary, from which four million Calvinists sent a hun- 
dred delegates to Geneva. Naturally they are the most ortho- 
dox and militant of Protestants, the most eager to proclaim 
their principles. 

The proceedings formally opened on Saturday evening, July 
3, with a cantata, Post Tenebras Lux, sung in the ancient 
cathedral of St. Pierre. To those, like the relator, who found 
seats only underneath the chorus, it was less striking than it 
might otherwise have been ; the chief feature was the intro- 
duction of the splendid Genevese psalm tunes of the Calvin 

Monday was the day for the " College," which is of course 
the college in the French sense, a boys' secondary school, 
founded in 1559, and ever since in operation. It holds in 
Swiss Geneva the historic position of the Boston Latin School 
in the Geneva of America. What we saw was chiefly proces- 
sions of students and former students, after a dinner set for 
two thousand people. To the American visitors the best part 
of the day was the reception by the American minister, Mr. 
Clay. Like his predecessor, Mr. Hill, now Ambassador to 
Germany, who was a specially invited guest during the festal 
week, the American representative lives at Geneva, about 
three hours by rail from the capital, Berne. 

Tuesday was the great day of the Church celebration. A 
service was held at the church of St. Gervinus, a centre of 
reform in the old days, and embellished with a spirited modern 
window representing the Escalade, in which aquiline Puritans 
thrust down to perdition the fierce papist soldiers of the Duke. 
Addresses were made in various languages, chiefly French ; 
and the Court Preacher of Berlin read a telegram of con- 
gratulation and good will from the Theodore of Germany, 
His Majesty, Wilhelm II. No pious occasion is any longer 

1010. J QUA1 BB 01 287 

complete without inch a, I 

standing the di plea ure of the hea 

of people went the Length of the lake; and in I I 

( ihillon \\ .i produced the biblical d 

I aac, w in ten by 'I beodore de Beze, I 

A , an e •' bange of idei 

ance, a • a rail} ing poinl for t be unity of I '. 

('lunch Congress w 

In many ways the most Btriking of all the 
the Calvin memorial, which not only threw up in i 
only figure of I he Refoi Dial ion wh i 
side Luther as a world-power, but brougli 
Calvin overlooked by the modern world. The k< 
struck in the remarkable ad< St. P I. 1 

morgue, bi borian of Calvin. It was an 
when In* appealed to t be rafters of the church 
14 For Calvin was here," said he; and th<- addresi 
large degree made up of extracts from Bermi n 
Calvin from the very pulpit in which the Bpeakei His 

object was to show, from Calvin's own utterai 
tensely human Bide of the man, bis appeals I 
tratives, bis use of colloquial and even slan 
homely similitudes, "Like a child thai 
enough to blow bis nose comme I'on 

This view of Calvin as a man, with a man' 
prejudices and experiences, is the ; 
The leaders of that city repudiate the pict 
a fanatic <>r a gloom) theologian, or a | 
— they emphasise bis power aud insight as a 
as the resourceful bead ol b which he i 

power in Christendom. For this man th< 
hundredth anniversary of the summit »'t' bis influenc 
the corner Btone of an " [nternatioual Mouument 
ormatiou at ( tenei .u" in w hioh he b1 
group of men who took part in that marvellous I 

several years the) have Itch accumulating funds 
a Bpirited competition the) 
design. At the fool of the old ram] 
to build a granite wall, Btanding out fi 
statues of the four prinoipal figures in I 
meutj Calvin, Parol, U aud Johu K 


statues will flank the main group — Coligny, William the 
Silent, the Great Elector of Brandenburg, Oliver Cromwell, 
Bocskay the Hungarian prince, and Roger Williams. The 
originality and beauty of this competition won the unani- 
mous approval of a jury of experts ; and it appeals to all 
the churches which have participated in Calvinism. Of the 
sum of 400,000 or 500,000 francs necessary, about a third is 
in hand. America has not yet come up to her opportuni- 
ties in subscriptions, perhaps because some people think John 
Winthrop a better representative of American Calvinism than 
the Salem minister who disagreed with Winthrop, and was 
the first founder of a commonwealth to proclaim religious 
toleration as a principle of government. Of this beautiful 
structure there exists at present only a tablet in the wall, 
unveiled in a solemn session in the open air, — the main 
event in the Monument festivities. 

The fourth celebration and the most picturesque was the 
four-hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Uni- 
versity of Geneva, to which nearly three hundred sister 
universities accredited delegates. Beside banquets and re- 
ceptions and garden parties, there were two grand functions. 
The first on Thursday was the reception of delegates in the 
Cathedral of St. Pierre. A procession formed in the rain at 
the University and solemnly marched up the hill to the 
cathedral, to a great crowd of admirers displaying a rare 
variety and splendor of academic costume. The scarlet and 
crimson and lavender robes of the English and Scotch, the 
parti-colored doctors' hoods of America, paled before the 
massive gold chains of the German rectors, the Franz-Hals 
ruffs of the Dane, the ermine of the Austrians, the blue 
parasol-hats of the Portuguese with a circle of pendent 
tassels, the green embroidered court suits of the members 
of the French Academy. Places were assigned by nations ; 
as each country was called, all its delegates marched up to 
the platform in a body; each university was then called 
in turn, and its delegate presented a written address, — 
adding a few words if he felt inclined, in any language that 
came handy. Meanwhile the representatives of the student 
corps and burschenschafts made a background by a multi- 
tude of brilliantly colored banners, and stood about holding 
enormous ox-horns adorned with flowers. 


On Friday was held the degree session, at Victoria Hall, 
a beautiful auditorium. The University of Geneva has not 
been in the habit of conferring numerous honorary degrees, — 
in fact, had saved up its strength for this occasion. The 
result was a batch of a- hundred and fifty at once, which 
were announced without calling up the person, if present, 
so that the audience lost the pleasure of recognizing the 
distinguished men as they were named. 

Ten of the plums fell into the laps of Americans — beside 
one to Ostvvald, who is by adoption a Harvard man : William 
R. Smith (M.A.), Jacques Loeb of California (M.D.), James 
Mark Baldwin of Columbia (S.D.), William James (S.D.), 
Herbert D. Foster of Dartmouth (Litt.D.), Henry van Dyke 
(LL.D.), John Martin Vincent of Johns Hopkins (LL.D.), 
Williston Walker of Yale (D.D.). On Curtis Guild, who 
was present, and one evening made a good speech in good 
French, was also bestowed an honorary S.T.D., apparently 
under the impression that so good a man must be a parson. 1 

Saturday afternoon came the Historical Pageant, for which 
months of preparation had been made, and in which marched 
twelve hundred people and three hundred horses. Notwith- 
standing the rain it was a fine show — including the simulacra 
of numbers of noble and royal students who had sometime 
attended the University. The most popular character was. o( 
course, the executioner, in official black with " the huge two- 
handed engine at the door." That evening the final touch 
was given by a great "Commers," which included many 
novelties, such as ladies at the tables sharing the public beer, 
singing by a Russian choir, and a boxing match. 

The bad weather made little difference with the indoor ses- 
sions ; and the four festivals were all highly successful. The 
speech-making, of which there was abundance, was less witty 
and more infused with conventional French general phrases 
than might be expected. Count Haussonville, descendant of 
Madame de Stael, was the only really eloquent man. except 
Doumergue, and some of the foreign church representatives. 
But it was all well sustained. Considering such long prep- 
aration, such persistence in a difficult enterprise by a small 
community, one can understand how Geneva came to be such 
a power in the world. 

1 Professor Hart received the degree of Litt.D. — Yv. 


Mr. Bradford spoke at length on the recent political con- 
test in Great Britain, drawing from it some illustrations of 
changes in the organization of governments. 

Mr. Sanborn read the following paper: 

William Ellery Channing and John Brown. 

I present to the Historical Society today a little volume 
which, though printed four and twenty years ago, was never 
published nor sold, and is as much unknown today as if it had 
never been issued from the Boston press. It is the short poem 
of William Ellery Channing, my neighbor and for ten years 
my house-mate, on my old friend John Brown, of Kansas and 
Virginia. Ellery Channing was the only professional poet I 
have ever known ; answering in these modern days to the 
Homeric rhapsodist, the Irish or Welsh bard, or the minstrel 
of the middle ages. Like most of those traditional persons, 
his work is little known, and probably always will be. He 
made his appeal in youth to the mass of readers, and there 
was no response; his verses were quoted in the books of 
others, but seldom read in his own volumes, which lay un- 
bought on the bookseller's shelf, and hardly found their way 
even into libraries. 

When I was first in London, in the summer of 1890, and was 
received at the British Museum with generous hospitality by 
the late Dr. Richard Garnett, then the Keeper of Printed Books, 
I was pleased to find that he had gathered into that great 
collection more volumes of Channing's verse than could then 
be found in any New England library, except that in Concord, 
and perhaps the Boston Athenaeum. Dr. Garnett made a 
specialty of collecting the books of the Concord authors, and 
had a taste for first editions. At that time he lacked two rare 
books, the first edition of Hawthorne's "Fanshawe" and that 
of Emerson's " Nature," and he communicated to me his wish 
to acquire them for the Museum Library. He said he felt 
authorized to offer for " Nature" in the edition of 1836, seven 
pounds sterling. I told him I had a friend in New England 
(the late Marston Watson of Plymouth) who had two copies, 
and would part with one, I thought. I put Dr. Garnett in 
communication witli him, and I think he paid Mr. Watson 
five pounds for the thin volume. At the very time our con- 


versation occurred, the London bookseller, Qaaritch, 

advertising a copy of Emei on's M Nature'' fo 

which I>r. Garnett would have paid twenty tii . for. 

Quaritch's copy was bought byan American, D S. \ -I 

of Ann Arbor, and gol as far on its way to bii 

York City, where somebody stole it. from the p 

it never reached Michigan. "Fanshawe" at that time 

held at a price beyond the Museum's rate, - 1 think : 

five hundred dollars a COpy ; and whether I>r. < 

bought the book I cannot say. 

Ellery Channing began to write good n <>r 

earlier, and he continued to write it after he w ty. He 

also wrote much had verse, and seldom seemed i 
tinguishing between a good verse and a bad one. 11 - 
poem was sent, by his father, Dr. Walter Channii 
or by some admiring friend, to be printed 
England Magazine," in L835, and came out bef 
was seventeen years old, in October, 1835, — a fanciful i 
syllabic piece called " The Spider." Emerson print- . 
pages of ( lhanning's poems in u The Dial " from 1 x 1" I 
some of which appeared in \\\< first volume of •■ 1' 
L843, printed at (he cost of Channing's intimate friend, the 
late Samuel Gray Ward, then of Boston. He published him- 
self several poems in the "New York Tribune," \\ i ii h 
helped Horace ( ireeley edit in 1844-45 ; and he issued 
series of them in a volume in I s IT. another volume in 
and two long blank- verse poems, " Near Home " in 1 J 5 £ 
"The Wanderer" in 1 S T1. The public man in- 

terest in these, but bought few o( the 
when I made this poet's acquaintance, he hn 1 come I 
himself as unable to win public attention in . \ 

kept on writing it, and made himself, as indeed he 1 

from L841, the laureate iA' bis intimate friends. 1' his, 

oelebrating Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, 1 

Caroline Sturgis, Marston Watson, Bronson \ t, Daniel 

Rioketson, Fanny McGregor, and other friends, ■■■ 

by him from time to time; sometime^ without | 
subjects of his verse that he had done them tl 

at. my marriage in L862 he Bent t o the u Commonwealth" 

newspaper, which my friend Monoure Conway was tl 

ing, an M Epithalamium " of which I Lou and 


that I was the subject. He addressed me another poem in 
1866, upon a birthday, and did not then conceal the fact that 
he was the writer. I found on his table after his death in 
December, 1901, a copy of verses addressed to the infant 
daughter of one of his young friends; which must have been 
written after he was eighty, since the child was not born at 
his eighty-first birthday. 

The volume which I present today contains two poems 
in blank verse, both in honor of John Brown. The shorter 
one was written to make a part of Rev. Samuel Orcutt's 
" History of Torrington," where Brown was born, — the same 
volume for which I wrote a brief life of Brown. It was 
published in 1878, and I found among the correspondence 
of Channing, left to me at his death, some letters of Mr. 
Orcutt, while the verses were printing, which show that 
editor's high appreciation of the verses. Mr. Orcutt had 
before published a "History of Wolcott" in Connecticut, 
where Mr. Alcott was born, six months before Brown was 
born at Torrington ; and for this volume Channing had written 
verses in honor of Louisa Alcott and her father; and I had 
written sketches of their lives up to 1873. Both the verses 
and the biography for the Torrington volume were written in 
1877, and the book seems to have gained some favor in conse- 
quence of their presence among its pages. Writing to Chan- 
ning in February, 1877, Mr. Orcutt said, "I am now at work 
completing the ' History of Torrington,' the birthplace of John 
Brown, and am nearly ready for your poem." A year later, 
having received and printed the verses, he wrote : 

Please don't think I have forgotten yon, or that I am ungrateful for 
your very appropriate and interesting lines on the burial of John Brown 
in my history of the town of Torrington. The John Brown Memorial, 
and the poem on his burial, add very greatly to the work. I was at 
first frightened at the great cost of the printing, but a better sale than 
I expected, during the few days they have been out, has quieted my 
nerves a little. [March 16, 1878.] 

Your very kind letter afforded me peculiar comfort of mind, for at 
that time I was in doubt as to the success of my book. Therefore such 
cheering words were well appreciated. It is quite certain now that the 
work is a success in all respects ; and will give me pleasure as well as 
many others. The space occupied in it by John Brown is a joy to me 



always, and a great honor to the book. For your continued considera- 
tion, and generous expressions of interest, I shall ever be grateful. 
[April 11, 1878.] 

Soon after the printing of the shorter of these two poems in 
Mr. Orcutt's history, as mentioned, I received the following 
note from its author, in lieu of a visit he was in the habit of 
making me every week : 

Concord, Thursday, Feb'y 7, 1878. 

Dear Sir, — Do you think the poem I sent you yesterday would 
be taken by either of the magazines, under the circumstance of its pub- 
lishing elsewhere, in a local hook without circulation ? As I have not 
parted with my property in this piece, I do not think Mr. Orcutt would 
object to its being printed elsewhere, as it would do for an adv< 
ment. It is, to be sure, not favorable to the South, but it would make 
a good poem to illustrate. Of course it would be Btated whence it c 
i. e. the " History of Torrington." As Mr. Orcutt's book will have do 
general circulation, and as I get nothing for my work, I should be _ 
to have my contribution to the memory of " our greatest hero " get at 
least some kind of publishment. 

If you think anything of the kind can be done, please send forward 
the poem without delay. Truly yours, 

W. E. C. 

It was not feasible, as magazines are in the present age of the 
world, to get the verses into a monthly, although in L873— 78 
Mr. Channing had some slight access to the magazines for his 
verse and prose. 

The dramatic poem had a different history. It was not 
written for any special use, nor submitted to any bookseller 
before publication. It may have been written years before, 
but seems not to have been communicated to any friend, either 
before or after printing. lie had produced an earlier poem, 
"Near Home," in this same quiet way, before printing: but 
when it was once in type he brought copies of that to his 
Concord friends, — to Emerson, Thoreau and myself, — he at 
the time being a resident of New Bedford, where he was edit- 
ing the daily " Mercury. n But in 1886 Emerson and Thoreau 
were dead, Alcott was stricken with paralysis, and his later 
friends, Dr. W. T. Harris and Mr. Emery, and the unknown 
Connecticut poet Treadwell all now dead do not seem to 
have been consulted. Mrs. Waldo Emerson, to whom the 


dramatic poem is dedicated, no doubt received a copy; and 
as the second poem is inscribed to me, it is probable that I 
had one; but that I cannot recall. When, in the autumn of 
1891, Air. Channing came in a very feeble state of health, to 
reside with me and be cared for, I soon persuaded him to sell 
his own house, which had been built by Samuel Hoar (father 
of the Judge and Senator), by Colonel Whiting, and a few 
other citizens of Concord for the newly chartered Concord 
Academy, and have his library removed to the upper story of 
my house, where was room for the four thousand volumes. 
I made the removal myself, handling every volume with my 
own hands, and in so doing found the hundred volumes, more 
or less, of this work, which I have since been giving away to 
those persons, in this country and in Europe, who valued the 
irregular verse and the peculiar genius of Ellery Channing. 
Very few are now left, and when I perused it a few days ago, 
it seemed to me to be a proper gift, oXtyov re 4>iXoi> re, as 
Homer says, — for this library, the catacombs of so much 
departed literature. It has a certain historical value, and a 
certain poetic merit, in neither case very considerable, but 
worth preserving. 

As actual history, the longer poem bears much the same 
relation to a marked chapter in American history, that any 
given play of Shakespeare, such as " Richard III," has to that 
chapter of English history which has been so much fabulated 
and distorted. The actual personages here dramatized, a 
dozen of whom I knew, are true to their character, as shown 
in their speeches, and much that is related is historically true. 
But over all is thrown a mist of imagination, and a veil of 
strange English, which makes the book hard reading. Pas- 
sages of fanciful beauty occur here and there, as, for instance, 
Stevens, the handsome and daring lieutenant of Brown in 
Kansas and Virginia, speaking of the prairie life, says, 

And the old Kansas life ran in our veins, — 

The wild romance, the charms of the free air ; 

To sleep within the moon, and feel the night wind 

Curl around your form, the bending grass 

Whisper its loving secrets to your ear, 

And sing you into utter dreams of peace; 

Your friends the wailing winds; the halls of light, — 

Your dazzling halls, — the stars ! 


Although Brown spent in all some five days in Concord, as 
my guest, or Emerson's, or Thoreau's, I doubt if Channing 
ever saw him. He was living in New lied ford when Brown 
first came to spend a few days with me ; and on his second 
visit, in May, 1859, although Charming had then returned to 
Ills house at Concord, he was not in the habit of going to 
public meetings, and he did not call on me while Brown was 
at my boarding-house, near the Fitchburg Railroad station. But 
lie had heard much of Brown's unusual character, from Thoreau, 
his most intimate friend, from Emerson and from Alcott ; and 
he had read all the lives of Brown including my thick volume, 
published a year before this volume was printed. And 1 may 
say that there was no part of the world where Brown's true 
character was better known and valued than in our little town. 
We enjoyed then the presence of two or three men who had 
that intimate and prescient knowledge of mankind which is 
the privilege of genius. The human being who could elude 
or deceive the searching gaze of Emerson was rarely Been ; 
and Thoreau, with more prepossessions, and a certain perver- 
sity of wit, had much the same clear vision. Hawthorne was 
a third in that circle who possessed the same insight into 
character; but he never saw Brown. Alcott and Channing 
in a less degree shared the same faculty. When therefore 
men who never saw Brown, or who are as destitute of any 
facult}^ of judging mankind as the owl is of daylight. vision, 
undertake to give their account of Brown's insignificance, 
insanity or crimes, — if their statement readies my intelli- 
gence at all, — 1 fall back on the judgment passed upon him 
by these masters in penetration and judicial fairness. Their 
view of Brown, with some softening from the gentler pathos 
of Channing's mood, is taken in these rude verses, and if each 
person does not stand out with clearness in these dialogues 
and soliloquies it is because Channing used a dialect capricious 
and rather vague, though sometimes as startling in its revela- 
tions as in the unlike roughness and abruptness o( Browning's 
contorted verse. 

In behalf of the PRESIDENT, Mr. Ford presented for publi- 
cation an address made in IS 11 by John Quincy Adams on the 
War between Great Britain and China. The manuscript was 
recently sent to the President by Miss Palfrey, who found it 


among the papers of her father, John G. Palfrey, where it had 
lain since the address was delivered. The history of the man- 
uscript was briefly as follows: 

The idea of writing upon the war between Great Britain 
and China had first been suggested to Mr. Adams by Dr. 
Palfrey, then editor of the ''North American Review," who 
intended to print the essay in that periodical. For nearly a 
year Mr. Adams had worked upon the subject at such inter- 
vals as he could find, and the article was nearly finished when, 
on November 11, 1841, Dr. Shattuck and Dr. Lowell, succes- 
sively, came to him to ask -him to deliver the opening lecture 
in a course instituted by the Massachusetts Historical Society. 1 
The invitation was accepted, and in the eleven days allowed 
to him the essay was completed, closing, as he says, abruptly, 
hardly having passed the threshold of his subject. He out- 
lined a series of three papers on the topic, but under his 
readings the scope expanded, and he realized that his point 
of view would not be that then generally prevalent in the 
United States. 2 On the evening of Monday, November 22, 
the address was delivered in Masonic Temple, which was 
"crowded to overflowing." 3 An editorial summary appeared 
in the " Boston Courier," November 25, which opened by say- 
ing that the lecture " was calculated to excite the surprize of 
most of the audience," by its point of view, and closed with 
the paragraph, 

We are not sure that we have given the full train of reflections, or 
the argument ; but by this abstract we are confident that our readers 
may gather some accurate notion of the substance of the lecture, which 
occupied one hour and twenty minutes in the delivery, to as crowded an 
auditory, notwithstanding the torrents of rain, as was probably ever 
assembled within the walls of the Temple on any similar occasion. 

What followed is related in the Adams Diary : 

Mr. P. Q. Mason brought me a letter from George Roberts, editor 
of the Times and Notion newspaper, requesting permission for Mr. 
Mason to read my last evening's lecture to make an abstract of it for 
the newspaper, as he had not been able to get a seat last evening to 
take notes. I told him I had lent the manuscript, but if he would call 

1 Proc, ii. 22G. 2 Memoirs, xi. 30. 

3 Daily Advertiser and Patriot, November 23, 1841. See also Memoirs, xi. 30. 

1010. j J. Q. ADAMS OH THE OF \\:. 

to morrow morning at nine, be should have the per i il ol it 
ber 23, 1841.] 

Mr. Mason from the Times and Notion Offi ■>■ call 
the manuscript of my lecture) which I lent trim 
publication in the newspaper. I pointed oat to I 

had omitted in the delivery, and requested him not I He 

said he was ( would j not; bul said if] would consent 
all that I did deliver. I declined, having promised if to D P 
an article in the North American Review. . . . N. I.. 

Frothingham and Mr. Gould, a committee from ! 
Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, came with an earne 
to repeal, my lecture on the Chinese War before thai S 
Friday evening, to which I consented. The 
from what, was expected, and from the opinions pi 
it has produced what is called a Bensation, not of ■ 
curiosity. [ November 24, 1841.1 

•A quarter before seven Dr. Frothingham cai I 

to the Masonic Temple, and delivered before the v 
fusion of Dseful Knowledge, the lecture on the War I 
Britain and China, [mmediatel} before, Mr. T. B. Smith 
and intreated me to deliver it again tomorrow evening 
Lyceum, at the Marlborough chapel. 1 I told him that I I 
ment for tomorrow evening ; but asked him to call torn 
at nine for a definitive answer. The Templi 

crowded, and scarcely tilled; hut the lectin-' was Well recei\ • ;. N - 

vember 26, L841.] 

lie declined the Lyceum on the following i 
of an engagement, but he was informed by Karri I W 

u in the Times newspaper of this morning | No^ I 
was a promise to publish in the Notion of llCXl 1' 

whole of my leoture <>n the Chinese War." Tin' man user 
was Bent to Dr. Palfrey on Sunday, November 28, M 

thority bO use il at his pleasure." 

The notice in the Boston Times of an in;< tided pill 

in full o( the Leoture greatly disturbed Mr. \ 
promised the manusoripl to the North American R . 
had expressly restricted the reportei 1 

mere summary of its features. The B - \ 
o( those huge blanket sheets w hicb 

1 Peter Augustus Jay alto asked, on behalf of U N i 
that the lecture be given in Ne* fork, " at such I 
be agreeable to yourself." — November -o. 1841 


and boasted of being the " largest mammoth weekly published 
in America." It was made up of essays, sermons, and serial 
stories, with little advertising, and at this time was filled by 
borrowings from abroad as well as from home, the novels of 
Levels Dickens, Bulwer, and James finding place in its col- 
umns. In this year a smaller sheet, known as the " Quarto 
Notion, or Roberts' Weekly Journal of American and Foreign 
Literature, Fine Arts and General News," was published 
weekly from the same office, and in the issue (i. No. 9) for 
Saturday, December 4, 1841, the Adams lecture appeared in 
full, occupying three full pages, or fifteen columns, of the sheet. 
How the misunderstanding, to use no stronger term, about 
the use of the Adams manuscript arose, is explained in the 
letters received from the reporter and publisher : 

Mason to Adams. 

Times Office, Saturday Evening. 1 
Sir, — Regretting exceedingly that misconception on my part, should 
give to you cause for the slightest offence, may I flatter myself that the 
following explanation will not be deemed wholly unsatisfactory. On 
delivering Mr. Roberts note at your house on Tuesday I was ignorant 
of its contents but believed it to contain a request for permission to 
publish your lectures at full length, a permission which it was my im- 
pression was granted during the short [conversation] with which you 
honored me on the same day. On Wednesday morning, you said you 
did not wish it published entire for the present, and again I miscon- 
ceived you, as I supposed you merely meant a delay until after the sec- 
ond delivery. In this I was confirmed from several of the morning 
papers having given garbled and imperfect notices of the first. I was 
to blame. I should have beeu more particular in my enquiries as to 
your wishes. On returning to the office on Wednesday Morning 
having out business to attend I left the MS. for Mr. Roberts with a 
verbal message lor Mr. Roberts that in the daily you wished merely 
extracts to appear, but this message was unfortunately not accurately 
delivered, and the work was at once put into the hands of the Composi- 
tors — got up aud corrected from copy. I was obliged to absent my- 
self from business in consequence of a severe Rheumatic attack and 
remained in ignorance of what was done until Friday, when I saw it 
announced for publication in " The Notion " of next week. The 
announcement has brought in a vast quantity of extra orders for the 

1 Endorsed, 25 November, 1841. 

1010.] J. Q. ADAMS OH THE OPIUM W - I 

paper, and Mr. Roberta having bad to I 
business, I am placed in a most awkward situation. I 
Lecture is not published the credit of the paper vrill be mm h 
after so positive a promise from the Proprietoi \ Form some 

idea of the m.'tniicr in which it has been got up from tin 
the accompanying paper. Mr. R. will cheerfully publish it in 
or any other form if you wish. I know this explanation ma 
imperfect, but at this moment I am Buffering 

incapable of writing as I would wish. Pain which will be much in- 
creased if I am not fortunate euougfa to obtain your sand 

Regretting sincerely the error I have committed, I honor i>j 

be, Sir, with unfeigned Respect, Your most obed. Servant 

Philip Q. M ls< 

Roberts to M \>« >n. 

J'im - Botbl, Phil w-i i phi i N 
Dear Sik, — T received your note this afternoon at 1 o'cl 
Sun office (too late for me to answer it by the steamboat mail I i: 
ing me that Mr. Adams had written me a letter which Mr. K< ttel 
absence opened, the tenor of which letter forbade my publishu _ Mr. 
Adams Lecture on the China question. 

Mr. Adams came on to this city in the Cars with me 
and I have this moment had an interview with him on ;'. - .He 

says he never authorised you to use the MS. entire for the very :m|*>r- 

tant reason that it had been Borne time previously promise 1 I i M 
trey, tin 1 Editor of the North American Review. I: .■:•■ I he farther 
states that he lirst wrote on the subject at Mr. Palfrey's d 
it was merely accidental that he embodied it in a I 

Under these oircumstances I fear yen were mistaken in Mr \ 
offering you the privilege of giving it to me for pub! iu the 

Notion, and I am convinced it is justly the property of Mr i 

1 therefore request that you cause its publication to be - I, if it 

other person. 1 therefore forbid the publication in the N 
which 1 could not but consider as ■ violation of the coofl lei 

in Mr. Mason bv the lean of the manuscript at \enr rr.; 

Adams to George Roberts, November -.'. 1841. H« 
print made by William Hayden, Editor of the " a - 


be among the possibilities, although I am fearful this will reach you too 
late. If so I shall ever regret that we applied for the use of the MS. 
at all, and I shall hope that you will retain some circumstances con- 
nected with the conversation you had with Mr. Adams that will bear 
you out in having given it to me for publication. Yours in haste, 

Geo. Roberts. 

Roberts to Adams. 

Times & Notion Office 

Boston, Dec. 8, 1841. 

Respected Sir, — I have just returned home to Boston, and very 
much regret to find that my letter from Philadelphia, written after I had 
the conversation with you on the night of Tuesday Nov. 30th (a copy 
of which I herewith annex) arrived here too late to prevent the publi- 
cation of your Lecture. It was received on Friday morning, and the 
Notions containing your Lecture were all printed, and a large portion, 
nearly three fourths, had been sent off to our Agents and mail sub- 
scribers, it being the usual packing day. 

I was absent from Boston, as you are already aware, when your letter 
of the 27th was received at my office, viz ; on the morning of Monday, 
.Nov. 29 th. Had I been at home I assure you the Lecture should not 
have been published. 

Mr. Mason is the sole cause of having led me into the difficulty; and 
he informs me that after my departure from Boston on Saturday Nov. 
27th he repeatedly called at your house to see you on the subject, but 
failing, addressed you in a long letter detailing his impressions of the 
conversation he had with you, and the authority which from those con- 
versations he supposed you gave for its publication. He further states 
that on the receipt at my office of your letter on Monday, he again 
called at your house and learnt for the first time then you had left for 
Washington. He immediately wrote you another letter, addressed to 
Washington, stating that the Lecture was already printed on the outer 
side form of the paper, that 1 was absent from Boston, and that its 
suppression would be, after the three promises made to the public in the 
Daily Times of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, not only highly in- 
jurious to the paper, but from the peculiar position in which he stood 
absolutely ruinous to himself. I would here further add that its sup- 
pression at that time would also have been an actual loss to me of more 
than $350.00 in the destruction of paper, labor, etc. 

From the foregoing statement which I consider due to you, I leave 
it with you to judge how far I am to blame, if at all, in the matter ; 
and I can only repeat that I sincerely regret that any thing should have 

1910.] J. Q. ADAMS ON THE OPIUM WAR. 301 

occurred in my establishment to have caused your disapprobation, and 

am ready to make any reasonable reparation in my power. J am. Deal 
Sir, Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servt. 

Geo. Robei 

In the meantime the manuscript itself had been returned to 
Mr. Adams, liberally marked by the inky fingers of the com- 
positors on the Notion, and was sent to Dr. Palfrey. The 
good editor found himself facing a problem, not unusual with 
those who conscientiously seek to give the public what it wants. 
as well as the information that is necessary to strengthen rather 
than to form an opinion. The prevailing prejudices undoubt- 
edly ran counter to Adams's view, and the " North American 
Review" was not accustomed to undertake an opposition to a 
conservative view of public questions. Our President recalls 
that some forty or fifty years ago, at his father's table, Dr. 
Palfrey told, with some amusement, how lie had asked for the 
article, and how pleased lie was as editor to have his invitation 
accepted, feeling as if he had struck a bonanza. Subsequently 
the manuscript reached, his hands, and he found to his amaze- 
ment and despair that Mr. Adams had taken a view of the 
matter wholly opposite to his own. Greatly disappointed in 
the result, he decided that he could not print the paper in the 
Review, and seizing upon the opportunity offered by the fact 
that it was only a preliminary treatment of the subject, he 
wrote as follows : 

Palfrey to Adams. 

S Chi stni r Street, 

29th November, 1841. 

Dear Sir, — I am very much obliged to you for sending me your 

I believe I shall best express my respects and my sense of your kind- 
ness in this instance, by stating frankly what occurs to me on r< 
the paper. 

Your argument convicts the Chinese of offending agaiust international 
morals by an unsocial and selfish policy, and an insolent deportment. 
But the further question, whether these have constituted an injury, for 
which the English government may seek redress by war. you do UOl w : 
discuss; and I must own it appears to me that the best jus 1 net 

be done to your argument by publishing it in the X. A. Review, without 


the addition of what you propose as a sequel, touching that all-important 
practical point. Your own reflections have led you to the opinion re- 
specting it, which you decidedly announce; but readers, I think, would 
feel the want of the reasons which have conducted you through that 
particular part of the process. 

If it were proper, I should ask you to allow the piece to be printed, 
omitting the expression of any opinion on the ulterior point, and em- 
bracing only a discussion and condemnation of the Chinese policy and 
measures. But I perceive that this would be too great a mutilation of 
what will, all of it, eventually, be seen forcibly to bear on the practical 

Entertaining these views, I have thought that I ought not to take the 
risk of putting you to any inconvenience, by retaining the manuscript in 
my hands after your departure today. 

Be pleased to believe me, I am, Sir, with the highest regard, and sin- 
cere wishes that you may have a safe journey and a useful and happy 
winter, Your obliged friend and servant, 

John G. Palfrey. 

Mr. Adams never called for or gave directions concerning 
the manuscript, and it has since that time been in its original 
wrapper in the Palfrey family. 

A long search for a copy of the Quarto Notion followed, 
without success. A few issues of the larger sheet for this 
latter part of 1841 were located at the Boston Public Library, 
and some of these bore the name of Caleb Cushing, afterward 
minister to China. No copy of the Quarto Notion was found 
until a volume of pamphlets and newspaper clippings, brought 
together by George Parkman, and relating almost wholly to 
John Quincy Adams, was received from the Boston Athenaeum. 
In it were two leaves of the Quarto Notion for December 4, 
and these two leaves contained the lecture on China. A 
long and close intimacy had existed between Adams and 
Parkman, and some of these pieces bear presentation marks 
from Adams to his friend. 

Meanwhile the Notion had gone into circulation, and a copy 
found its way to China, where it fell into the hands of the 
editor of the Chinese Repository, published in Macao, China. 
In the issue (ix. No. 5) for May, 1842, the larger part of the 
lecture was reprinted, and to it the editor added the following 
note : 

1010.] J. Q- ADAMS ON THE OPI1 M .\J:. 

One of the strongest inducement! to place thii lecture ol Mr- A 
upon the pages of the Repository has been in thii 
the principal arguments that can be Btated in behalf of tl 
merits of the present struggle between China and England. I 
marks arc the views of a man of extensive experience in public life, 
and as such are worthy of attention and deference ; and I 
in a lucid maimer one of the strongest reasons wh\ the I 
ernment lias not the right to shut themselves out from the 1 
kind, founded on deductions drawn from the rights of men a* 
of one great social system. While, however, we differ from th< 
witli regard to the influence the opium trade has bad upon tl 
it has been without doubt the great proximate cause, we mail 1; 
with him as to the effect that other remote causes Bpringii ._ r from 
Chinese assumption, conceit, and ignorance bave also had u\ 
In its progress, these features have been more and 

brought forward, and on the part of this government, th< 

bly regarded as one of supremacy or vassalism, according as tl I 

win or lose. We do not sre how the war could !. . 
tin; opium trade been a smuggling trade. — we think it \\ >uld 
have gone on as it has were the Chinese better acquainted with I 
own and others' rights. But whatever be its course, it n think, 

be the hearty desire of every well-wisher of his race, that the aln 
Governor of the nations would in his own chosen way ed 
good to both parties, and cause that these two mighty I 
their future intercourse he a mutual benefit. 

It was in sill probability in the Chinese Repository 
was seen by Russell Sturgis, who began to prepare a 
the arguments of Adams, but never completed it. The 
ment is printed in the privately printed volume i p, ■_■_ 
pared by t In* son, Julian Sturgis, entitled M Fit D B 
Tapers of Russell Sturgis." The paper, once delivered 
fore this Society, is now after seventy years included in its 


Correspondence relating to China, presented ro 
Houses of Parliament bt command ^v ber 

is 10. 

The existing stale o( the relations between the k : i _;!.:•.. G 

Britain and Ireland, and the Empire of China, opei 

questions of deep interest to the whole human race; tnd inenl 

interest to the People of the North- A merican luion. 

Great Britain and China are at War. The q 


ately rise for consideration, in this conflict between two of the mighti- 
est Nations of the Globe, are 

1. Which of the two parties to the contest has the righteous Cause? 

2. What are the prospects of its progress and termination ? 

3. How the interest of other Nations, and particularly of the United 
States are already, or are likely to be hereafter affected by it? 

4. What are the duties of the Government and People of the United 
States resulting from it? 

For the solution of the first of these questions we must resort to a 
statement of the facts in which the controversy originated, and for 
a candid application to those facts of the Laws of Nature and of 

But before entering upon this enquiry, it may be proper to remark 
that an eminent French writer upon the subject of international Law, 
has contended that there is and can be no such thing. And he makes 
it a subject of grave and serious charge against the English language 
itself that it applies the word Law to the obligations incumbent upon 
Nations. His argument is, that Law is a rule of conduct prescribed by 
a superior, a Legislator ; that is, an act of Government, deriving its 
force from Sovereign authority and binding only upon the subject. 
That Nations being independent acknowledge no superior, and have no 
common sovereign from whom they can receive the Law. That all the 
relative duties between Nations result from right and wrong, from con- 
vention or compact, and from usage or custom to neither of which can 
the term Law be properly applied. That this system of rules had been 
called by the Romans the Jus Gentium, and in all the languages of 
modern Europe the Right of Nations, or the Rights of War and Peace. 
Upon the vigorous analysis of the meaning of words it must be admitted, 
that there is much force in this objection. Law and Right, we know 
but too well, by the experience of mankind in all ages including our 
own, are not convertible terms. Law, necessarily imports command 
on one part, and obedience on the other. Right is the gift of the 
Creator to Man, at once the Charter of his own freedom, and the Law 
of his reverence for the same right of his fellow creature man. In this 
sense Right and Law are convertible terms ; but the Law is the Law 
of God, and the right is the right of Man. 

It is urged by the writer to whom I now allude, that the Nations 
speaking the English Language, by the use of this word Law, to express 
the rules of intercourse, between Nations, have habituated themselves 
to confound it with the municipal Law of their own realm ; and to infer 
that the same Legislative authority which is competent to make the 
Laws of the Land for them, is equally competent to prescribe Laws 
for all the nations of the Earth. 

How far this reproach of a French writer upon the Freedom of the 


Seas (Rayneval) 1 is justified by the facts which he alledgee ii 

port, is not now ray purpose, nor have wc time to enquire. It beln 

us however to remember that the English language is now the mother 

tongue not of one, but of many Nations; and that whatever portion of 
them, believe that the fountain of all human Legislation is the Omnipo- 
tence of the British Parliament, wc as one of those Nations acknowl- 
edge no such supremacy. We think with the great jurist of our mother 
country, that the omnipotence of the British Parliament is a figure of 
speech rather too bold ; and the first act of our existence as a - | -urate 
Nation, was a Declaration of the self evident inalienable Rights of all 
Men, by the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God. This is the only 
omnipotence to which we bow the knee, as the only source direct or in- 
direct of all human Legislation, and that thus the Laws of Nations are 
identical with the rights of man associated in independent Communities. 
The practical organization of our social system is not altogether con- 
sistent with our theory. The existence of Slavery is incompatible with 
that Law of Nature and of Nature's God, which has given to all men 
the inalienable Right to Liberty. The Law of the Land is thus in con- 
flict with the Law of God ; but we have easy consciences. We 
that the self-evident truths of Man's inalienable rights are merely or- 
namental parts of the Declaration of Independence. We are all ag 
that Congress has no power to interfere with the Institutions of the 
States ; we are not quite sure but that one portion of mankind was 
made for dominion, and another for toil. Perhaps porerti/ is Slavery 
all the world over. Perhaps Labour is Slavery. And if men must be 
pooT and work, it is better that they should be slaves than free. There 
always have been slaves. The chosen people of God were »!u 3 
Egypt. They were Slaves to, and made Slaves of the Philis 
Slaves again of the Assyrians, of the Babylonians, oi the Romans. 
Christianity accommodates itself well with slavery. Onesimus was the 
slave of Philemon, and when he ran away Saint Paul sent him back 
to his master. The African Slave trade to be sure i> an abomination. 
We pronounce it Piracy, and we will hang any man that wc can catch 
engaged in it. But. then we will hang too by his side ar\ man who 
shall dare to interfere with the internal Slave-trade, because of the In- 
stitutions of the States, and — Hush ! Hush ! Hush ! - 

11 And Mammon makes his way, where seraphs might despair." 

But we speak the English language and what the men of other 
tongues call the Right o( Nations, wo call the Laws oi Nations. \> it 
then are the Laws of Nations bv the rules o\' which the right and w 

1 Joseph Rayneval. 

~ The paragraph was struck em. probably net to be read for n ant of I 


of the present contest between Great Britain and China are to be 
ascertained ? And here we are to remember that by the Laws of Na- 
tions are to be understood not one Code of Laws, binding alike upon 
all the Nations of the Earth ; but a system of Rules, varying according 
to the character and condition of the parties concerned. The General 
Law of Natious is derived from four distinct sources, denominated by 
Vattel the Necessary, Voluntary, Conventional and Customary Laws of 
Nations. The Necessary Law is the application of the Laws of Nature 
to the intercourse between independent communities, and this itself can 
be enforced only between Nations who recognize the principle that the 
State of Nature is a State of Peace. It is a religious principle of the 
Mahometan Nations, that it is their duty to propagate their religion by 
the sword. Time was, when this cruel, absurd and unnatural principle 
was inscribed on the holy banners of the meek and lowly Jesus. The 
vision of Coustantine himself, who seated Christianity upon the throne 
of the Caesars, the vision by which he pretended to have been converted 
to the faith of the blessed gospel, falsified all its commands, and per- 
verted its nature. The cross of Christ was exhibited before his eyes 
and the words inscribed upon it were, " by this conquer " — conquer, 
persecute, enslave, destroy, kindle the fires of the holy hermendad, burn 
the heretic at the stake, tear his nerves to atoms by the rack, hunt him 
with blood hounds, pluck out his vitals, and slap them in his face — all 
for the salvation of his Soul — by this conquer ! 

By the Laws of Nations between the communities, subscribers to this 
creed, the Bishop of Rome, the self styled servant of servants, by the 
seal of the fisherman's ring was for many ages invested with authority 
to distribute all the kingdoms of the Earth out of the pale of Christian- 
ity, to whomsoever he pleased. And accordingly in January, 1454, 
His Holiness Nicholas the 5th did, of his own proper motion, without 
petition from any one, by his mere liberality and certain knowledge, after 
full deliberation and in the plenitude of Apostolic power, give, grant, 
and convey the whole kingdom of Guinea, and all its negro inhabitants, 
to Alphonso king of Portugal, and his Son the Infante Don Henry, 1 
and their heirs and successors forever. And forty years after in 1493, 
Alexander the 6th, the Nero of the papal tiara, the year after the dis- 
covery by Christopher Columbus, of the Western Hemisphere, did in 
like manner give and grant the same hemisphere to Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella of Spain. This was about 25 years before the publication of the 
95 theses of Martin Luther at the University of Wittenberg. That 
was the Law of Nations, between Christian communities of that day. 
Since the protestant reformation, the power of the Pope to distribute 
kingdoms at his pleasure is hardly an Article of the Law of Nations 
even among Catholic communities. Yet even now there is a law of 

1 Alfonso V (1432-1481) was succeeded by his son Joao II (1455-1495). 

1910.] J. Q.ADAMS ON THE OPIUM WAR. 307 

Nations between Roman Catholics, strictly confined to them, and 
is of no validity for any other portion of the human race. 

There is also a Law of Nations between Christian commai 
which prevails between the Europeans and their descendants throughout 
the globe. This is the Law recognized by the Constitution ai,d Laws 
of the United States, as obligatory upon them in their intercourse with 
the European States and Colonies. But we have a separate and differ- 
ent Law of Nations for the regulation of our intercourse with the 
Indian tribes of our own Continent; another Law of Nation- between 
us, and the woolly headed natives of Africa; another with the J>arbary 
Powers and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire ; a Law of Nations with 
the Inhabitants of the Isles of the Sea wherever human industry and 
enterprize have explored the Geography of the Globe; and lastly a 
Law of Nations with the flowery Land, the celestial Empire the Mai.t- 
choo Tartar Dynasty of Despotism, where the Patriarchal system of 
Sir Robert Eilmer, flourishes in all its glory. 1 

And this is the heathen Nation with which the Imperial Christian 
realm of Great Britain and Ireland, is waging a War, in which all or 
many other of the Christian Nations of the Earth, and among the rest 
our own United States of America are in imminent danger of beins: 

The Law of Nations then by which the right and wrong of the pres- 
ent contest is to be tried, is as between the parties themselves the gen- 
eral and necessary Law of Nations ; but as it may affect the other 
Christian Nations whose rights are involved in the issue, it is the 
Christian Law of Nations which must furnish the principles for discus- 
sion. It may be necessary to remember this distinct ion. 

By the Law of Nature, the right of property results from two 
sources, occupancy and labour. Occupancy gives possession, and labour 
confers the exclusive right to its fruits, but possession is either tempo- 
rary or permanent. It may be exclusive or common. Possession may 
be permanently maintained of that which can be carried a' out with the 
person. The occupancy of the soil to give the right to the soil must ho 
permanent, at least for a season ; to be permanent it must be divided by 
metes and bounds ; and this can bo effected only by agreement. The 
right of property being thus established by labour, by occupancy and 
by compact, the right of exchange, barter, or in other words oi com- 
merce, necessarily follows. If the state o\' Nature between men is a 
state of Peace, and the pursuit of happiness is a natural right o\ man, 
it is the duty of men io contribute as much as is in their power to one 
another's happiness. This is most emphatically enjoined by the Chris- 
tian precept to love your neighbour as yourself. Now then' is no other 

1 " Patriarcha, or the National Tower of Kings assorted,* 1 first published in 

1080, became the accepted manifesto oi the absolutist part v. 


way by which men can so much contribute to the comfort and well- 
being of one another as by commerce or mutual exchanges of equiva- 
lents. Commerce is then among the natural rights and duties of men. 
And if of individuals, still more of communities; for as by the law of 
Nature every man though he love his neighbour as himself, must pro- 
vide for his own preservation and for that of his family, before he can 
minister to the wants of his neighbour, it follows that he can give in 
exchange to his neighbour only the excess of the fruit of his labour 
beyond that which is necessary for his and their subsistence. The ex- 
change itself may indeed be of necessaries, and that leads to the division 
of labour, one of the greatest blessings of association ; but that cannot 
be without commerce. 

This duty of commercial intercourse between Nations is laid down 
in terms sufficiently positive by Vattel, but he afterwards qualifies it by 
a restriction, which, unless itself restricted, annuls it altogether. He 
says that although the general duty of commercial intercourse is incum- 
bent upon Nations, yet every nation may exclude any particular branch 
or article of trade which it may deem injurious to its own interest. 
This cannot be denied. But then a Nation may multiply these par- 
ticular exclusions until they become general and equivalent to a total 
interdict of commerce, and this time out of mind has been the inflexible 
policy of the Chinese Empire. So says Vattel, without affixing any 
note of censure upon it. Yet it is manifestly incompatible with the po- 
sition which he had previously laid down, that commercial intercourse 
between nations is a moral obligation incumbent upon them all. 

The Empire of China is said to extend over three hundred millions 
of human beings. It is said to cover a space of seven millions of 
square miles ; about four times larger than the surface of these United 
States. The People are not Christians, nor can a Christian Nation ap- 
peal to the principles of a common Faith to settle the question of right 
and wrong between them. The moral obligation of commercial inter- 
course between Nations is founded entirely, exclusively upon the Chris- 
tian precept to love your neighbour as yourself. With this principle 
you cannot refuse commercial intercourse with your neighbour, because 
commerce, consisting of a voluntary exchange of property mutually 
beneficial to both parties, unites in one the selfish and the social pro- 
pensities, and enables each of the parties to promote the happiness of 
his neighbour, by the same act whereby he provides for his own. 

But China, not being a Christian Nation, its inhabitants do not con- 
sider themselves bound by the Christian precept, to love their neighbour 
as themselves. The right of commercial intercourse with them reverts 
not to the execrable principle of Hobbes, that the state of Nature is a 
state of War, but to the Law of Nature independent of the precept of 
Christianity. By that Law, everyone has a right to buy, but no one 


is obliged to sell. Commerce becomes altogether a i 
tion. The right of each party is only to propose, that of tl 
to accept or refuse, and to bis result he maj be guided • 
the consideration of bis own interest, without regard to I i 

the wishes, or the wants of his neighbour. 

This is a churlish and unsocial system. And I I ik< 
say that whoever examines the ( bristian system of . 
osophical Spirit, setting aside all the external and histoi 
of its truth, will find all its precepts tending to exalt the 
animal man; all tending to its avowed purpose of P< 
good will towards men. Ask the Atheist, the Deist, < 

and they will tell you that the foundation ol their system of moi i 
selfish enjoyment. Ask the Philosophers of the Greci i Scl -.1. - 
cuius, Socrates, Zeno, Plato, Lucr< tius, ( icero, § 
find them discoursing upon the Supreme Good. They will t< 
is pleasure, ease, temperance, prudence, fortitude [Justice N 
of them will whisper the name of Love, Ulile88 in its g 
sense, as an instrument of pleasure. Not one of them w 
the source of all moral relations between you and the n 
is to love your neighbour as yourself* To do unto him as j 
that tie should do unto you. 

The Chinese recognize no such Law. Their internal Goven 
is a hereditary, patriarchal despotism, and their own exclusn 
is the measure of all their relations with the res! of D ai kil I. 
own Government is founded upon the principle that a> a N 
are superior to the rest of mankind. They believe thems 
their country specially privileged over all ethers, that their domini 
the celestial empire, and their territory the flowen land. At 

of their history so remote that they have no authentic r 
time, to make their separation from the ivm of the world I 

they built a wall 1500 miles long between themseh 

neighbours the Tartars, which however has not Baved tb 

more than once conquered. The last time that ihi> ha] 

the year 1644, and the Becond century is about j upon tl 

minion o{ the Man tch oo Tar tars. That conquest howei 

other revolution o\' Government than the transfer of trn 1 

ter from one family to another. It 19 a remark of Hume thai 

conquest of France by Ilenn the 5th of Monmouth had been n 

by his successors, the result would have been to con 

a French Province. 1 Such in the natural court 

result oi' the conquest of a larger by a smaller adj 1 •. P \ : . 

this is precisely what has happened with China and l 

principle of the Chinese Government is. that the whol N 

1 History of ESnalan I (18W 


great family of which the Emperor is the father. His authority is un- 
limited, and he can not only appoint which of his sons he pleases to 
succeed him, but may even transfer the succession to another family. 
Idol-worship, polygamy, infanticide, are the natural consequences of 
such a system, within the realm, and the assumption of a pretension 
to superiority over other nations, regulates their intercourse with 

To the Greeks and Romans of antiquity, the very existence of the 
Chinese Nation was unknown. The first notice of them received by 
the Europeans of the middle ages was from the Venitian, Marco Polo, 
in the 13th century. When the Portuguese two hundred years later 
found their way round the Cape of Good Hope to India, they soon 
pushed forward their Navigation and their commercial enterprize along 
the whole coast of China. They were allowed to trade for several 
years at various ports ; but abusing of this privilege, and of their navi- 
gating power, they were soon excluded from all access to the Empire. 
A few years later the coast was infested by pirates. One of these, 
named Tchang-si-lao, obtained possession of the Island of Macao ; there 
held the whole coast in a state of blockade, and besieged Canton itself. 
Utterly destitute of all naval power, the Mandarins of the Celestial 
Empire were obliged to have recourse to those very Portuguese to de- 
fend and deliver their country from the depredation of a single bold 
and desperate pirate. They sent from Sanciam, where they had a 
trading establishment, an expedition which raised the siege of Canton, 
and drove Tchang-si-lao back to Macao, where to escape from the fate 
which awaited him, had he fallen into the hands of his pursuers, he 
died by his own hands. In reward for this service the Emperor of 
China gave to the Portuguese the Island of Macao, which they hold to 
this day, and from which station they and the other navigating Nations 
of Christendom have carried on all their commercial intercourse with 
the interior of China. 

This grant, in full sovereignty, of an island at the very entrance of 
the China seas, to a foreign and Christian power, would seem to be a 
wide departure from the fundamental system of excluding all foreigners 
from admission within the Empire, but it was in truth a necessary con- 
sequence of that system, the seclusion of the Empire from all other Na- 
tions, was a necessary renunciation of all maritime enterprize and all 
naval armament. The coast was thus left defenceless against the as- 
saults of single desperate adventurers. The traffic which the Portu- 
guese solicited was altogether advantageous to the Chinese. The 
Portuguese brought gold, silver and precious stones. They took away 
silks Nankeens, porcelain, varnish, medicinal plants and tea, the prod- 
uce of the soil and manufacturing industry of the Country. A small 
island upon the coast as a permanent abode for the Portuguese traders, 

1910.] J. Q. ADAMS ON THE OPIUM WAR. 311 

given to them as a possession, was a compromise for their claim of ad- 
mission to the territory necessary for carrying on that importation of 
the precious metals, and that exportation of Chinese industry, the bene- 
fits of which could not but be felt and could not be overlooked. 

Other navigating Christian nations followed in the wake of the Por- 
tuguese. The Spaniards, the Dutch, the English, the French, the 
Danes, successively came as rival competitors for the lucrative com- 
merce. It was chiefly though not always confined to the port of Can- 
ton, but no European was even admitted within the walls of that City. 
The several trading nations were allowed to establish small factories, 
for counting houses, on the banks of the river without the City; but 
they were never suffered to enter within the gates; they were not per- 
mitted to introduce even a woman into the factory. All their inter- 
course with the subordinate Government of the Province was carried 
on through the medium of a dozen Chinese traders, denominated the 
Hong Merchants ; all their remonstrances against wrong or claims of 
right must be transmitted not directly to the Government, but through 
the Hong. All in the form of humble supplication, called by the Chi- 
nese a Pin, and all must be content to receive the answers of the Vice- 
roys in the form of edicts, in which they, their Sovereigns, and their 
Nations, were invariably styled outside barbarians: and the highest 
compliment to their kings was to declare them reverently submissive to 
his Imperial Majesty, monarch of the celestial empire and father of the 
flowery land. 

It is humiliating to think, that not only the proudest monarchs of 
Europe, but the most spirited, enlightened and valourous Nations of 
Christendom have submitted to this tone, and these principles of inter- 
course so long as to have given them, if prescription could give them, a 
claim of right and a colour of conformity to the Law of Nations. 

There are three principles of the Law of Nature applied to Nations 
laid down in the preliminary chapter to Vattel's treatise, a close atten- 
tion to which is indispensably necessary to the adjustment of the ques- 
tion of right and wrong in this issue of fact between the British and 
Chinese Governments. 

1. "The first general law, which the very end of the Society of 
Nations discovers, is that each nation ought to contribute all in its 
power to the happiness and perfection of others. 

"But the duty towards ourselves having incontestable the advantage 
over our duty with respect to others, a nation ought in the first place. 
preferably to all other considerations, to do whatever it can to promote 
its own happiness and perfection." l 

Here is a fallacy. The first and vital principle of Christian morality, 

1 Vattel, Law of Nations (ed. 1811), lxi. Mr. Adams has made bis own 


is to love your neighbour as yourself, to do unto others as you would 
that they should do unto you. It does not permit you to promote your 
own happiness and perfection in preference to all other considerations. 

Jt makes your neighbours happiness so far as your action is concerned 
a part of your own. It does not permit you to sacrifice his happiness 
to yours any more than yours to his. The importance of this distinc- 
tion will be seen, by referring to the second and third preliminaries 
laid down by the same author, and by deducing the consequences 
inferrible from them all. 

" Nations being free and independent of each other, in the same 
manner as men are naturally free and independent, the second general 
law of their society is that each nation ought to be left in the peaceable 
enjoyment of that liberty it has derived from Nature. . . . From this 
Liberty and Independence it follows, that every nation is to judge of 
what its conscience demands, of what it can or cannot do, of what is 
proper or improper to be done ; and consequently to examine and deter- 
mine, whether it can perform any office for another without being 
wanting in what it owes to itself." 1 

Now for the third general Law. 

" Since men are naturally equal, and their rights and obligations are 
the same, as equally proceeding from Nature, nations composed of men, 
considered as so many free persons living together in a state of nature, 
are naturally equal, and receive from nature the same obligations and 
rights." Hence. 

"If it (a Nation) makes an ill use of its Liberty, it offends; but 
others ought to suffer it to do so, having no right to command it to do 
otherwise." . . . 

"The Nation that has acted wrong, has offended against its con- 
science ; but as it may do whatever it has a right to perform, it cannot 
be accused of violating the Laws of Society." 2 

Let us separate the question of right and wrong from that of the 
right of either party to compel by force the performance of right by the 
other, and how stand these three corner stones of Vattel's Laws of 
Nations towards each other? If it be true that each Nation ought to 
contribute all in its power to the happiness and perfection of others, 
how can it be true that a nation ought in the first place and preferably 
to all other considerations to do whatever it can to promote its own 
happiness and perfection, and to be the exclusive judge of what that is. 
If the vital principle of all human Society be that each is bound to 
contribute to the happiness of all, it surely follows that each can not 
regulate his conduct by the exclusive or even by the paramount 
consideration of his own interest. 

In applying his own principles to the cultivation of Commerce, 

i Vattel, Law of Nations (ed. 1811), lxii; 2 lxiii. 

L910-] J. Q. ADAMS OH THE OPIUM vak. 

Vattel begins by laying it flown at a moral obligation. H 

pressly, the Nations are obliged to cultivate the home ti i 

promotes the welfare of the community; and "From th< 

drawn (corn the welfare of the State, and to procure for lb 

every thing they want, a Nation is obliged to promote and car y on a 

foreign trade." And yet, because every one has a right to buy, 

every one an equal right to refuse to Bell, therefore every Nati i 

ing exclusively, or in preference to all other consideral rd to 

its own interest h;is a right to interdict ;ill commerce with 


Here is manifest inconsistency between the- two principle 1 •• 
vital principle of commerce is reciprocity; and although in ail <• • 
traffic, each party acts for himself and for the promot 
interest, the duty of each is to hold commercial intercourse with the 
other, —not from exclusive or paramount consideration ol 
interest; but from a joint and equal moral consideration of thi 
of both. If the object of any particular traffic is ad van tag us I 
party and injurious to the other, then the party Buffering has an un- 
questionable right to interdict the trade, not from exc usi e 
mount, consideration of his own interest, but because the traffic no 
longer fulfils the condition which makes commercial intercoun 

The fundamental principle of the Chinese Empire 
It is founded entirely upon the second and third of V 
principles; to the total exclusion of the first. It admit- no 
to hold commercial intercourse with others. It utterly denies 
equality of other Nations with itself, and even their [ndependi • e. I: 
holds itself to be the centre of the terraqueous globe, equal to the 
Heavenly host, and all other Nations with whom it has anj 
political or commercial, as outside tributary barbarians r Sub- 

missive to the will of its despotic chief. It is upon this principle 
Openly avowed, and inflexibly maintained, that the principal maritime 

Nations of Europe, for several centuries, and tln« United S 

America, from the time of their acknowledged Independence. 

content to hold commercial intercourse with the Empire ot % China. 

It is time that this enormous outrage upon the rights oi human 
nature, and upon the first principles oi the Rights of N 

cease. These principles oi the Chinese Empire, too 

and truckled to by the mightiest Christian nation- of the i \ ; . 

world, have at, length been brought into conflict, with the ■ 

and tin 1 power of the British Kmpire ; and 1 cannot fbrb 

the hope that Britain, after taking the lead in the aboliti 

African Slave trade and o( slavery; and oi the still more 
tribute to the barbary African Mahometans, will BXtei 
arm to the farthest bounds oi A-ia. and at the close i 



test insist upon concluding the Peace on terms of perfect equality with 
the Chinese Empire, and that the future Commerce shall be carried on 
upon terms of equality and reciprocity, between the two communities, 
parties to the trade, for the benefit of both, each retaining the right of 
prohibition and of regulation, to interdict any article or branch of trade 
injurious to itself; as for example the article of Opium, and to secure 
itself against the practices of fraudulent traders and smugglers. 

This is the real, and I apprehend the only question at issue, between 
the Governments and Nations of Great Britain and China. It is a 
general, but I believe altogether mistaken opinion that the quarrel is 
merely for certain chests of opium imported by British Merchants into 
China, and seized by the Chinese Government for having been imported 
contrary to Law. This is a mere incident to the dispute ; but no more 
the cause of the War, than the throwing overboard of the Tea in 
Boston Harbour was the cause of the North Americau Revolution. 

The cause of the war is the pretension on the part of the Chinese, 
that in all their intercourse with other Nations, political or commercial, 
their superiority must be implicitly acknowledged, and manifested in 
humiliating forms. It is not creditable to the great, powerful and en- 
lightened Nations of Europe, that for several centuries, they have for 
the sake of a profitable trade, submitted to this insolent and insulting 
pretension, equally contrary to the first principles of the Law of 
nature and of revealed religion — the natural equality of mankind. 

Auri sacra fames 
Quid non mortalia pectora cogis? 

This submission to insult is the more extraordinary for being practised 
by Christian Nations, which in their intercourse with one another push 
the principle of equality and reciprocity to the minutest punctilios of 
forms. Is a treaty to be concluded between the British and Russian 
Empires, it must be in both their languages or in a third agreed upon 
by the parties. The copies of the same Treaty are to be so varied that 
each of the parties is first named in the copy retained by itself, the sig- 
natures of the Plenipotentiaries must either be in parallel lines or alter- 
nate in their order upon the two copies. Duels have been fought, 
between Ambassadors of two European Courts to the Monarch of a 
third, for the precedence of admission to his presence ; and in the reign 
of Charles the Second, a bloody battle was fought in the streets of 
London between the retinues of a French and a Spanish Ambassador, 
in a struggle between the two coachmen, which should lead the other 
in a procession. 

Among the expedients to which the British Government had re- 
sorted to hide their faces from the shame of submission to this principle 
of commercial intercourse with China, was that of granting the mo- 


nopoly of trade to a company of merchant*. The charter of the 
Iiidiii company was the instrument of this monopol 

company possessed none of the attributes of Sovi 
compliances their thirst for gain might reconcile with th< 
as men, or their pride as Britons, was supposed to involv< 
of the national honour and dignity. They submitted tl 
cept the permission to trade with the people of China, as a be 
to their bumble supplication, called a Pin. But their I 
confined to the single port of* Canton, in an Empire of seven millions 
of square miles with a population of 300 millions of 'souls. Even into 
that city of Canton, no British subject was ever to 1).- Buffered I 
his foot. They were permitted to erect on the hm.k^ of the 
below tin; City, the buildings necessary for a counting bouse, 
which they might display the degraded Btandard of their Nation, but 
from which their wives and families were to he forever exclude 1 For 
the superintendence of this trade certain officers were appoiuted bj 
East India company, and it was to he exclusively carried on with ten 
or twelve Chinese merchants of the City, called Hong mere! 
through whom alone the outside barbarians had access by the 1' 
the Government of the City. 

In the year 1702, just at the time when the Wars of tin I 
Revolution, in which Great Britain took so prominent a part. 
breaking out; the British Government instituted a splendid Embassy 
to the Emperor of China, Kien Lung, who was then approaching the 
termination of a reign of sixty years. 1 The selection of the ti: 
this mission excited a general suspicion throughout Europe, that its 
object was connected with the policy dictated by the approaching 
flict, and that an alliance at least defensive against Revoluti 
France was contemplated under the ostensible appearance of pi 
the commercial intercourse between the two countries uj on i 
and equitable footing. From the historical account of this 1".:-. 
published by Sir George Staunton, it appears thai i:^ object v 
prevail upon the Chinese Government, to admit the establishmen 
permanent diplomatic British Minister to reside near tie person of the 
Emperor at IVkin, and thereby to secure a more effective protect] 
the commerce between the two Countries than it had I 

This was a fair and laudable purpose, and so reasonable did it .. 

that Mr. Ward, 8 who published his excellent history of the Law of 

Nations in 1795, before the result of Lord Macartney's embassy was 

known, in the passage of' hi^ work, where he noticed this I I 

1 Pied February 11, 1790, after ;» reign of sixty-three yean 

- Robert Plumer Ward 07tV> 1846), who published in i">>'> "An \\ 

into the Foundation and History of the Lan of Nations lo ; a the 

Time of the Greeks and Romans to the Age of Qrodos." 


excluding policy of the Chinese, added a note announcing the expec- 
tation that very shortly thereafter, a permanent British diplomatic 
mission would be established at the Imperial Court of Pekin. But 
this was not the conclusion of Chinese logic or Chinese benevolence. 
From the moment that Lord Macartney landed in China, till he em- 
harked in the Lion to return home, he was considered as the vassal of 
a distant, subordinate, petty prince, sent by his master to do homage, 
and bear the tributary presents to the superhuman Majesty of the 
celestial empire. Laudandum, ornandum, tollendum, was the unvary- 
ing policy of the treatment which he received. All possible courtesy 
of forms was observed towards him, and with occasional gross excep- 
tions to the numerous retinue of the embassy ; but two grandees of the 
Empire, Chow-ta-zhin a civilian, and Van-ta-zhin a military com- 
mander, were sent to accompany and escort him to Pekin, with a third 
Legate, a Tartar in every sense of the word, whose office was all but 
avowedly that of a spy. Arrived at Pekin, Lord Macartney found 
that the Emperor was absent in Tartary, and was advised to follow 
him thither, which he accordingly did. He was lodged with his suite, 
at sundry unoccupied imperial palaces on the way, and given to under- 
stand that this, and many other petty observances, were transcendent 
honours, such as no outside barbarian had ever before been indulged 
in. Meantime he was advised to practice the Ko-Tow, or ceremonial 
prostration, knocking his forehead nine times on the floor, which would 
be required on his being presented to the Emperor. Lord Macartney 
who perfectly understood the meaning of this ceremony importing that 
his Sovereign was but the tributary vassal of the celestial Emperor, 
proposed as a compromise, to perform his part of the ceremony on 
condition that a Chinese Mandarin of equal rank with himself, should 
perform the same ceremony before the portrait of the king of Great 
Britain. This proposal was not accepted, but the old P^mperor as a 
special favour consented to receive the Embassador, as he was accus- 
tomed to approach his own Sovereign on one bended knee. 1 

Before the presentation however Lord Macartney had a private 
interview with the Colao or prime-Minister of the Empire, 2 in which 
he disclosed the principal object of his mission, and was sufficiently 
forewarned of its failure. 

" Ilis I^xcellency (says Sir George Staunton) found it necessary to 
the great tenderness and many qualified expressions, in conveying any 
idea that a connection between Great Britain and China, could be of 
any importance to the latter, either by the introduction of European 
commodities, of which taken in barter, the necessity was not felt; or 
by the supply of cotton or of rice from India, which some of the 

i Staunton, 313. 

2 Staunton gives " Ho-choong-taung Colao," as the full name. 

1910.] J. Q. ADAMS ON THE OPIUM WAR. 817 

Chinese Provinces were equally fit to cultivate; or of bullion of which 
the increase had sometimes the inconvenience of unequally increasing 
the prices of the useful or necessary articles of life ; or lastly by the 
assistance of a naval force to destroy the pirates on the coast, against 
whose mischief the sure resource existed of an internal communication 
by rivers and canals. Such were the avowed or affected notions enter- 
tained by the Chinese government, of the superiority or independence 
of the empire, that no transaction with foreigners was admissible by it 
on the ground of reciprocal benefit, but as a grace and condescension 
from the former to the latter. 

" His Excellency was not unwilling to negotiate even on those 
terms : and the Colao obligingly said, that they should have frequent 
opportunities of meeting during the continuance of his Excellency's 
visit at the Chinese court." 

The value of this promise was very shortly after, ascertained. The 
presentation of the Embassador and the delivery of his credential 
letters was affected with great solemnity, and he was magnificently 
entertained by the Emperor upon his birth-day, the 17th of Sep- 
tember. But the letter and the presents were no sooner delivered, 
than he received significant hints, that it was expected he would apply 
without delay for permission to depart. The Emperor returned after 
a few days to Pekin preceeded by the Embassador. There Lord 
Macartney, to avoid the appearance of obtruding himself too long upon 
the generous hospitality of the flowery land, wrote to the Colao, in- 
forming him of his intention to ask permission to depart in the ensuing 
month of February, at the beginning of the Chinese New-Year. In- 
stead of answering this letter, the Colao, sent for Lord Macartney to 
come to him and informed him, that the Emperor was greatly con- 
cerned for the health of the Embassador and of his suite, and that the 
climate of Pekin would be very unfavourable to them in the winter; 
but that it was perfectly at the Embassador's own option to depart or 
to remain, the solicitude of the emperor being caused solely and ex- 
clusively by his regard for the Embassy and the Embassador himself. 
Lord Macartney assured the red button mandarine that he was not 
under the slightest apprehension for himself or for his companions of 
suffering from the climate of Pekin, that he had many important 
objects of negotiation to present to the consideration of his Imperial 
Majesty and " that he, the Colao, had, when at Zhe-hol been so good 
to flatter him with the hope of many meetings with him. which how- 
ever anxiously he wished for, his sudden departure would necessarily 

The reply of the Colao was in the most approved style o! courtly 
dissimulation. Without particularly noticing the appeal to his previous 
promise, his words were so gracious, that the interpreter, a native 


Chinese, concluded that it would be perfectly at the Embassador's 
option to stay as long as might suit his purpose. 

The Colao gave not the most distant intimation to His Excellency 
tlir Embassador, that the Emperor's answer to the credential letter 
from the King of Great Britain was already prepared, and was to be 
delivered to him the next day, as it actually was; and that he might 
make no mistake as to the intentions of his Chinese Majesty, Chow-ta- 
zhiu and Van-ta-zhin were sent to him, to inform him gently with 
great reluctance, and under some depression of spirits, that they sur- 
mised but did not know that the Emperor's answer would be de- 
livered to him on that day ; and that the moment it should be received, 
it would be advisable to make application for permission to depart. 

Early next morning the Embassador was again sent for to meet the 
Colao at the great Hall of Audience in the Palace of Pekin, as soon as 
he could get ready. Though severely indisposed he had no choice but 
to obey the summons, and after traversing a considerable part of the 
Tartar city, on reaching the foot of the great hall of the palace, found 
the P^mperor's answer to the letter from the King of Great Britain, in 
a large roll covered with yellow silk, and placed in a chair hung with 
curtains of the same colour. It was afterwards carried in form up the 
middle of three flights of stairs; while the Colao and others who had 
stood by it, and the Embassador and his suite went up the side steps to 
the hall. The answer was placed in the midst of the hall, and not de- 
livered to the Embassador, but was afterwards sent to his hotel, in 
state. That this humiliation of the British Nation in the person of 
their Embassador should lack no appropriate appendage, " It seemed 
to be part of the intended ceremony of the day, to display the beauties 
of the palace to the Embassador ; which his indisposition obliged him 
to decline ; and to leave the honour of this perambulation to Sir 
George Staunton himself, and to other gentlemen of the Embassy. 
The Colao led them through a great number of separate edifices 
erected on a regular plan, in a high style of magnificence, all intended 
for public occasions and appearance, while the Emperor's private 
apartments were pointed out at a distance in the interior palace. 

With the Emperor's answer to the letter of his Britannic Majesty, 
farewell presents for him, for the Embassador and for every person of 
his suite, were sent to the Hotel. Lord Macartney was extremely 
reluctant at coming to the conclusion that his Embassy was at an end, 
and that he had nothing more to do, but to ask permission to depart 
and return to his own country ; but a kind friend, at the Imperial 
Court, whose good offices he had secured, suggested to him that the 
Chinese had no other idea of an Embassy, and that there was in truth 
no other alternative. To relieve him from his embarrassment, his 
British pride, and this Tartar courtesy, he just at this time received 

1910.] J. Q- ADAMS ON THE OPIUM WAR. 319 

advices of the war which the National Convention had declared against 
the king of Great Britain and the Stadholder of the Netherlands, and 
he comforted himself with the anticipation, that by returning home 
immediately in the Lion, the ship which had conveyed him to r 
she might at the same time perform the service of conveying in -afety 
the East India Company's fleet of merchantmen then bound to Europe. 

This ship, however, which had lauded him at the mouth of the Pei-ho 
river within three days journey of Pekin, had already sailed from the 
neighbouring island of Chu-san and was returning to Canton. The dis- 
tance from that city to Pekin is from twelve to fourteen hundred miles, 
the whole of which Lord Macartney and his whole P^mbassy were trans- 
ported by inland river and canal navigation, at the cost of his Imperial 
Majesty, in the custody of a succession of Mandarins, civil and military, 
of the very highest dignity, every where treated with distinguished hon- 
ours, occasionally buffeted with humiliating insults, and never suffered 
to stray a single mile from the river or canal upon which they were 
boated into the Country, through which they were passing; or to 
a night in one of the numerous cities through which they were con- 
ducted. They were nearly three months in the performance of this 
inland safe-conduct, and at the expiration of his voyage and embassy 
Lord Macartney, knew about as much of the condition of the interior of 
China as if he had during the two years of his absence continually re- 
sided in Pall Mall or Piccadilly, within a stone's throw of the Palace 
of St. James. 

This embassy however appears to have been treated with more respect 
than any other from an European Government during the two centuries 
of the reign of the Ta-Tsing or Mantchoo Tartar dynasty. The nar- 
rative of Sir George Staunton distinctly and positively affirms that 
Lord Macartney was admitted to the presence of the Emperor Kien- 
Lung, and presented to him his credentials without performing the 
prostration of the Ko-Tow, the Chinese act of homage from the vassal 
to the Sovereign Lord. Ceremonies between superiors and interiors 
are the personification of principles. Nearly twenty-five years after 
the repulse of Lord Macartney, in 1810, another splendid embassy 
was despatched by the British Government in the person o( Lord 
Amherst, who was much more rudely dismissed, without being even 
admitted to the presence of the Emperor, or passing a single hour 
at Pekin. A Dutch Embassy, instituted shortly after the failure of 
that of Lord Macartney, fared no better, although the embassador 
submitted with a <j;ood grace to the prostration o( the Ko-Tow. A 
philosophical Republican may smile at the distinction by which a 
British Nobleman, saw no objection to delivering his credentials ou 
the bended knee, but could not bring bis stomach to the attitude 
of entire prostration. In the discussion which arose between Lord 


Amherst and the celestials on this question, the Chinese to a man 
insisted in flexibly that Lord Macartney had performed the Ko-Tow, 
and Kei-King the Successor of Kien-Lung and, who had been present 
at the receptioD of Lord Macartney, personally pledged himself* that he 
had seen his Lordship in that attitude. Against the testimony to the 
fact of the imperial witness in person, it may well be conjectured how 
impossible it was for the British Noble to maintain his position, which 
was after all of small moment. The bended knee, no less than the 
full length prostration to the ground, is a symbol of homage from 
an inferior to a superior, and if not equally humiliating to the per- 
former, it is only because he has been made familiar by practice with 
one and not with the other. In Europe the bended knee is exclu- 
sively appropriated to the relations of Sovereign and subject, and no 
Representative of any Sovereign in Christendom ever bends the knee 
in presenting his credentials to another. 

But the personal prostration of the Embassador before the Emperor 
was in the Chinese principle of exaction symbolical, not only of the 
acknowledgment of subjection, but of the fundamental Law of the Em- 
pire, prohibiting all official intercourse upon a footiug of equality be- 
tween the Government of China, and the Government of any other 
Nations. All are included under the general denomination of outside 
barbarians, and the commercial intercourse with the maritime or navi- 
gating nations is maintained through the exclusive monopoly of the 
Hong Merchants. 

It has been seen how the British Government and Nation had ac- 
commodated themselves to this self-arrogating system of the Chinese. 
It was by establishing a monopoly on their part adapted to the monopoly 
of the Chinese Hong. The exclusive right of trading with China was 
granted to the East India company, and all the commerce of British 
subjects with the celestial empire was transacted by means of commis- 
sioned supercargoes appointed by those merchant princes, without dip- 
lomatic character, and without direct intercourse with any officer of the 
Chinese Government. 

But on the expiration and renewal of the East India Company's 
charter in 1833, the exclusive right of trading with China was dis- 
continued, and thenceforth the quasi-political intercourse between the 
two Nations transacted by mere commercial agents of the East India 
company ceased, and in the third and fourth year of the reign of "Wil- 
liam the 4th an act of Parliament was made and passed, " to regulate 
the trade to China and India." 

In pursuance of the powers conferred upon the crown by this act 
the sailor King issued three Orders in Council. 1. Constituting and 
appointing William John Lord Napier, William Henry Chicheley 
Plowden, and John Francis Davis Superintendents of the Trade of 


British Subjects in ('hind, with an order for the governn 
subjects within the Chinese dominions. 2. Creating a I 
for the purposes therein mentioned. '■'>. [mposing duties on the I 

goods of British subjects trading to China, for the po 
mentioned, that is of defraying the expenses of the estab ■ i 

order Cor the imposition of duties was afterwards resci l< I, ind the 
order for the constitution of a Court of Justice was - i- r fur- 

ther consideration. The Chief Superintendent, Lord N 
itructed to announce his arrival at Canton by letter to the Piu eroy. J • 
Superintendents were instructed to take up their residence at th< 
of Canton, and to discharge the duties of their Commission withii 
river or port of Canton, or at any other place within that rivi 
or at any other place thereafter to be designated by an order in c 

and not else id lie re. 

One of the most remarkable circumstances attending all th< 
actions is, that in giving these; Instructions to the Suj ■ 
take up their residence at Canton, and to tin- Chief Superintendent t<> 
announce his arrival by letter to the Viceroy, they appear not to have 

been aware of the possibility of any objection to thisCOUrse ol | : 
ing on the part of the Chinese. 

Accordingly on his arrival in China, after organizing the boai 
Superintendents at Macao, Lord Napier, with his Colleagues and ihe 
secretary of the Commission, proceeded immediately to Can! n. i 
the scenes which ensued of dramatic interest, partaking at Ol 
tragedy and farce, recourse may be had to the official despatch of the 
Chief Superintendent to His Britannic Majesty's Secretary i 

" In obedience to his Majesty's commands (says Lord N pier in his 
Letter of 9 August, is;! I, to Lord Palcuerston, conveyed to i 
your Lordship, of the date of the 25th of January last, desiring i 
announce my arrival at Canton by letter to the Yicero\ . a l< " 

of which is enclosed, was addressed to his Excellency the \ 
being rendered into Chinese by the Rev. Dr, Morrison, the I 
Secretary and Interpreter, was carried to the Citj gates bj Mr, \- 
[the Secretary to the Commission] accompanied by a deputation of 

gentlemen from the establishment. 

ki It may be here stated that during the interval employed in trai 
ing my letter, tht^ Hong Merchants, Howqua and Mowqua, arrived 
the copy of an Edict addressed by the Vicero) to then - r the 

purpose of being enjoined on the Superintendents by their body. 1 i g 
experience having already proved 40 t lu^ servants of the Eas( 1 . 
Company the utter futility oi such a medium oi communic . . 

the compliance therewith only tending to degrade hi< M ity'a ( 
mission, and the British public in general, in the estimation oi the 
Chinese people, and to render tin- t \eitions of the Superinl 





perform their various duties altogether ineffectual, the Hong Merchants 
were courteously dismissed, with an intimation, that I would communi- 
cate immediately with the Viceroy in the manner befitting his Majesty's 
Commission and the honour of the liritish Nation. 

" Mr. Astell was therefore instructed to deliver my letter to a Man- 
darin, and to avoid any communication through the Hong Merchants, 
which might afterwards be represented as an official communication 
and a precedent on all other occasions. 

" On the arrival of the party at the city gates, the soldier on guard 
was dispatched to report the circumstance to his superior. In less than 
a quarter of an hour a Mandarin of inferior rank appeared ; whereupon 
Mr. Astell offered my letter for transmission to the Viceroy, which duty 
this officer declined ; adding, that his superior was on his way to the 

" In the course of an hour several Mandarins, of nearly equal rank, 
arrived in succession ; each refusing to deliver the letter ; on the plea 
that higher officers would shortly attend. 

" After an hour's delay, during which time the party were treated 
with much indignity, not unusual on such occasions, the Linguists and 
Hong Merchants arrived, who intreated to become the bearers of the 
letter to the Viceroy. 

" About this time a Mandarin, of rank higher than any of those who 
had preceded him, joined the party, to whom the letter was in due form 
offered ; and as formally refused. 

" The Mandarins having seen the superscription on the letter, argued, 
' that as it came from the Superintendent of trade, the Hong Merchants 
were the proper channels of communication ' but this obstacle appeared 
of minor importance in their eyes upon ascertaining that the document 
was styled a letter and not a petition. 

" The Linguists requested to be allowed a copy of the address, which 
was of course refused. 

"About this time the Kwang-Heep, a military officer of considerable 
rank, accompanied by an officer a little inferior to himself, arrived on 
the spot ; to whom the letter was offered three several times, and as 
often refused. The senior Hong Merchant, Howqua, after a private 
conversation with the Kwang-Heep, requested to be allowed to carry 
the letter in company with the Kwang-Heep, and ascertain whether it 
would be received. 

" This being considered, as an insidious attempt to circumvent the 
directions of the Superintendents, a negative was made to this and other 
overtures of a similar tendency. 

" Suddenly all the Mandarins took their departure, for the purpose, 
as it was afterwards ascertained, of consulting with the Viceroy. 

"Nearly three hours having been thus lost within the city, Mr. Astell 

1910.] J. Q. ADAMS ON THE OPIUM WAR. 323 

determined to wait a reasonable time for the return of the Mandarins, 
who shortly afterwards reassembled ; whereupon Mr. Astell respectfully 
offered the letter in question three separate times to the Kwang-Heep, 
and afterwards to the other Mandarins, all of whom distinctly refused 
even to touch it : upon which Mr. Astell and his party returned to the 
factory." x 

You have now in this portion of the narrative of the first despatch 
from Lord Napier to Lord Palmerston, the primitive and efficient cause 
of the present War between Great Britain and China. It was in the 
attempt to execute two points of the instructions to the Superintendents. 
1. That the Chief Superintendent should announce his arrival at Can- 
ton, by letter ', to the Viceroy; and the other that the Superintendents 
should take up their residence at Canton. Lord Napier, with the 
open-hearted and inconsiderate boldness of a British Sailor, attempted 
to execute these points of his instructions to the letter, without for an 
instant conceiving that each of them was in direct conflict with the vital 
and fundamental laws of the Celestial Empire. This ignorance was 
very natural and very excusable in a Captain of the British Navy ; but 
how it came to be shared by the Privy Couucil and the Secretary of 
State of the British Empire is more unaccountable. The instructions 
were explicit and positive. Had there been the remotest suspicion at 
the time when they were prepared that their execution would meet with 
resistance by the Chinese authorities, it could not have failed to be 
noticed in them, with directions how the Superintendents were to pro- 
ceed in such an event. Until then the official protector of British com- 
mercial interests in China, had been a supercargo of the East India 
Company, denominated by the Chinese a Taepan, whose representa- 
tions or remonstrances in behalf of British subjects, to the Governor of 
the two Provinces Kwang-tung and Kwang-see were always presented 
in the form of Petitions, and always communicated through the medium 
of the Hong Merchants, without obtaining or claiming direct access to 
the Chinese dignitary himself. That this mode of communication was 
to cease from the time of the expiration of the exclusive privilege ot the 
East India Company, was equally well known to the British and Chinese 
Governments, and in the controversy which immediately followed this 
first collision between Lord Napier and the Governor of Canton, the 
latter once and again asserted, that ample warning had been given to 
the British Merchants that when, by the expiration of the privilege of 
the East India Company, the functions of the Taepan would be super- 
seded, some suitable manager must be substituted to settle with the 
Hong Merchants those trilling and insignificant concerns of commerce, 
which it was far beneath the dignity of the Government of the celestial 
Empire to provide for or to notice. 

1 Correspondence relating to China. 8. 


But I am already trespassing upon your patience. A brief and sum- 
mary notice of the sequel is all that your time will at present allow. 
The proud and generous British noble mariner persisted in his deter- 
mination to hold direct communication with the Governor of the two 
provinces, Loo, and to continue his residence at Canton, till he was 
obliged to call for an armed force from the British frigate in which he 
had performed his passage, and for that frigate and another to force 
their passage up to Canton, for the protection of his person from as- 
sault by the armed force of the Governor, who on his part issued edict 
after edict against the barbarian Eye, laboriously vile Napier, who 
had come by sea more than ten thousand miles to the flowery land of 
the celestial empire, for what purpose, the Chief of the two-eyed peacock 
feather could not tell, but against all reason, and ignorant of all digni- 
ties, pretending to correspond with the viceroy of the two Provinces of 
Kwang-tung and Kwaug-se, upon matters of trade, by letter instead of 
by petition, and to assume the functions which for a century and some 
tens of years had always been performed in all humility by a Taepan, 
petitioning through the medium of the Hong Merchants. Three of the 
principal Hong merchants attempted for several days to negotiate a 
compromise between the Governor and the noble Lord Superintendent, 
without success, till at length an edict was issued by the Governor which 
suspended the British trade. The British Commerce in China, was pros- 
trated at a blow, and the only alternative left to Lord Napier was to 
retire under numerous insults, and indignities, to Macao, where on the 
11th day of October, 1834, he died in the delirium of a fever, aggravated 
by ill usage and disappointment. 

And here we must pause. My brethren of the Massachusetts his- 
torical Society, do I hear you enquire, what is all this to the Opium 
question or to the taking of Canton ? These I answer are but incidents 
in that movement of mind on this globe of Earth, of which the war 
between Great Britain and China, is now the leading star. Of the four 
questions which I have proposed this evening to discuss, we have not 
even reached the conclusion of the first, the Justice of the cause be- 
tween the two parties. 

Which has the righteous cause ? You have perhaps been surprised 
to hear me answer Britain. Britain has the righteous cause. But to 
prove it, I have been obliged to show that the opium question is not the 
cause of the war, and my demonstration is not yet complete. The cause 
of the war is the Ko-tow ! the arrogant and insupportable pretension of 
China, that she will hold commercial intercourse with the rest of man- 
kind, not upon terms of equal reciprocity, but upon the insulting and 
degrading forms of the relation between lord and vassal. The melan- 
choly catastrophe with which I am obliged to close, the death of the 
gallant Napier, was the first bitter fruit of the struggle against that 

1910.] J. Q. ADAMS ON THE OPIUM WAR. 325 

insulting and senseless pretension of China. Might I in the flight of 
time be permitted once more to address you, I should pursue the c 
of this inquiry, through the four questions with which I have begun. 
But the solution of them all is involved in the germinating element of 
(he first, the Justice of the cause. This I have sought in the natural 
rights of man. Whether it may ever be my good fortune to ad 
you again is in the disposal of a higher power; but with reference to 
the last of my four questions, What are the duties of the Government 
and People of the United States, resulting from the existing war between 
Great Britain and China? I leave to your meditation, the last event 
of that war, which the winds have brought to our ears, the ransom of 
Canton. When we remember the scornful repulse from the gates of 
Canton in July, 1834, of Mr. Astell bearing the letter of Peace and 
Friendship from Lord Napier to the Governor of the two Provinces, 
and the contemptuous refusal to receive that letter itself, and compare 
it with the ransom of that same city in June, 1841, we trace the whole 
line of connection between cause and effect. May we not draw from it 
a monitory lesson, written upon a beam of phosphoric light — of prep- 
aration for war and preservation of peace. 1 

1 In less than two years after, the President of the United States commissioned 
Caleb Cushing to he Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the 
Court of China. In the instructions, dated May 8, 1843, the Secretary of State, 
Webster, said : 

" It is of course desirable that you should be able to reach Fekin, and the court 
and person of the Emperor, if practicable. You will, accordingly, at all times 
signify this as being your purpose and the object of your mission ; and perhaps it 
may be well to advance as near to the capital as shall be found practicable, without 
waiting to announce your arrival in the country. The purpose of seeing the Em- 
peror in person must be persisted in as long as may be becoming and proper. 
You will inform the officers of the government, that you have a letter of friend- 
ship from the President of the United States to the Emperor, signed by the 
President's own hand, which you cannot deliver except to the Emperor himself, 
or some high officer of the court in his presence. You will say, also, that you 
have a commission conferring on you the highest rank among representatives of 
your government; and that this, also, can only be exhibited to the Emperor, or 
his chief officer. You may expect to encounter, of course, it' you get to Pekin, 
the old question of the Ko-low. In regard to the mode of managing this matter, 
much must be left to your discretion, as circumstances may occur. All pains 
should be taken to avoid the giving of offence, or the wounding oi the national 
pride ; but, at the same time, you will be careful to do nothing which may seem, 
even to the Chinese themselves, to imply any inferiority on the part of your gov- 
ernment, or any thing less than perfect independence of all nations. . . . Taking 
care thus in no way to allow the government or people of China to consider you 
as tribute-bearer from your government, or as acknowledging its inferiority, in 
any respect, to that of China, or any other nation, you will bear in mind, at the 
same time, what is due to your own personal dignity and the character which 
you bear." — Webster, Works, VI. 470. 

In duly, 1844, a treaty of peace, amity and navigation, between the 1 
States and China, was concluded at Wang lliya. Alexander 11. Even '.: was ap> 




Jonathan Smith read the following letter of Caleb Gush- 
ing addressed to Dr. Francis Amory Ilolmau : 

Houston, Texas, February 5th, '47. 

Dear Sir, — In the hurry of my departure from New England I 
neglected to attend to an important matter connected with my friend 
Ching-bang-whang-ching-fu, Emperor of China. 

You know, perhaps, that during my visit to China I resided at his 
court in Pekin, and became familiarly acquainted with him and the 
different members of his family, as well as his most distinguished offi- 
cers of State. 

He is a man of liberal views and pursues an enlightened policy with 
his people although he is a Despot. 

He is very anxious to establish an Asylum for the Insane, near 
Pekin, as some of the members of his family have become lunatics. 
He therefore wished me to secure, if possible, for him, the services of 
some young physician of promise ; one who would be capable of super- 
intending the erection of the buildings, the laying out and embellishing 
of the grounds and the medical department of the Institution. 

I promised to do so, and after making enquiries I am persuaded 
you are precisely the person he wishes. Your known benevolence of 
character, your fine tall person, and your refined taste in the arrange- 
ment of trees, shrubs etc., the peculiar advantages you have enjoyed 
by being so long with Dr. Rockwell ; all these circumstances and qual- 
ities combined eminently fit you to become extremely popular with this 
most fastidious Emperor and his fastidious Court. 

I regret to hear you have been so much indisposed of late with the 

pointed " commissioner" to China, and Buchanan, in this first despatch to him, of 
April 13, 1845, sends a letter of credence to the Emperor, " to be communicated 
or delivered to the Sovereign in such manner as may be most agreeable to His 
Majesty to receive it." — Buchanan, Works, vi. 139. 

In 1859, Buchanan, then President, wrote in li is annual message: "On the ar- 
rival of Mr. Ward at Peking, he requested an audience of the Emperor to present 
his letter of credence. This he did not obtain, in consequence of his very proper 
refusal to submit to the humiliating ceremonies required by the etiquette of this 
strange people in approaching' their sovereign. ... It is but simple justice to the 
Chinese authorities to observe that throughout the whole transaction they appear 
to have acted in good faith and in a friendly spirit toward the United States. It 
is true this has been done after their own peculiar fashion; but we ought to re- 
gard with a lenient eye the ancient customs of an Empire dating back for thou- 
sands of years, so far as this may be consistent with our own national honor." 
— Works, x. 347. 

Not until 1873 were the foreign representatives received, and with the under- 
standing that it was not to be a regular occurrence. In 1891 the visit was re- 
peated, and in 1898 the wives of the foreign ministers were received by the Em- 
press Dowager. — Moore, Digest of International Law, iv. 774. 


prevalent Fever of Bratt. But I feel quite confident of your recovery 
in the hands of Dr. Rockwell; and the experience you will gain by 
this attack will be of immense advantage to you, for the Disease is by 
no means peculiar to our Country. I think it far more malignant in 
its character and fatal in its effects in China than any other portion of 
the Globe I have ever visited. 

The fame of Dr. Rockwell has reached the ears of Ching-bang-whang- 
ching-fu, and it was his desire that I should procure the services of Dr. 
Rockwell in this project, because of his remarkable success in his treat- 
ment of the Matrimonial Fever, but I told him it would be impossible, 
that America would never let him leave her Shores. He then made 
the request that the Doctor's Portrait should be sent out to him. If 
you conclude to accept the appointment I would propose that you take 
it out toliim. It will be a passport to his most distinguished favors. 

I would also advise you at once to take up your residence at the 
Chinese Museum, and remain there until the ship arrives which he will 
send out for you, as soon as he knows I have succeeded in getting 
your services. You will there become quite familiar with the lan- 
guage, manners and customs of the people, which will be of immense 
advantage to you. Indeed, my dear Sir, I think I see a most splendid 
career before you. I think your prospects quite superior to those of 
Daniel at the Court of Belshazzar. 

I would advise you to write to Ching-bang-whang-ching-fu, immedi- 
ately. It will take less time than to write me first, as I am now so far 
from the States, or rather shall be before your letter should reach me. 
Believe me, my dear Sir, you have my best wishes for your succ< 
this most delightful enterprise. It is not improbable we may meet in 
China, as I intend, as soon as we have conquered Mexico, and I am 
established there as Viceroy, to open a communication with China by 
way of Steam Ships. 

Believe me, with sentiments of the most profound esteem, your obe- 
dient, humble servant, 

Caleb Cushing. 

Mr. Shaw presented to the Society the originals o( ten 
letters from Samuel Adams to Samuel Phillips Savage, Presi- 
dent of the Massachusetts Board of War. Of these letters. 
one dated November 1, 1778, is printed in Wells, "Life 
and Public Services of Samuel Adams," in. 56; and two, of 
August 11 and September 14, 1T7S, are in Cushing, " Writings 
of Samuel Adams/' IV. 49, 61. The other letters are now 
printed for the first time, and to them have been added three 
letters from Mr. Savage, copies of which were obtained 


the Samuel Adams papers, through the courtesy of the New 
York Public Librar} r . 

Adams to Savage. 

Piiiladel. July 23, 1776. 
My dear Friend, — I must plead the Want of Leisure as an 
Apology for uot acknowledging your very obliging Letter, which came 
to my hand several Months ago. I assure you there is no one with 
whom I would chuse to keep up an epistolary Correspondence, rather 
than with you. The long Acquaintance I have had with you, and the 
unsuspected Sincerity of your Friendship, are strong Inducements to 
me to write to you very frequently, but I cannot give you any Reason 
to expect it. I would [therefore] beg you to favor me w r ith your letters 
as often as [your] Leisure will allow. I shall receive them gratefully. 
You have before this time heard of the success of the Continental Arms 
in South Carolina. 1 This happy event has, I hope, given such a Check 
to the Power of the Enemy as to prevent their doing us any material 
Injury in that part of America. I do not say any thing of our Affairs 
in Canada, the Subject is too mortifying. We must at all times submit 
to the Determination of Providence, " whose ways are ever gracious, 
ever just." We now look towards N. York. May Heaven prosper 
our Arms there ! The Express which brought the Carolina News, will 
return in a few days. I shall take that opportunity to forward your 
letter to your Son. He was in health last Spring, as one of the Gentle- 
men of this Colony inform[ed] me. The Post is this moment going. 
Present my friendly regards to Mrs. Savage, &c. and be assured that I 
am affectionately Your Friend. 

[No signature.] 

Savage to Adams. 

Weston, 22 August, 1776. 
My dear Sir, — A few days ago I received your very obliging 
Letter. I particularly thank you for the Intelligence about my son at 
S° Carol, 2 and for your promise of forwarding my Letter to him. At 
present I seem almost childless, one is at Barnstable, another at S° 
Carol, a third in the Army at Albany or Fort Stanwyx, and the young- 

1 Charles Lee's defence of Sullivan's Island. 

2 Samuel Phillips Savage, born April 27, 1718, was son of Arthur and Eaith 
(Phillips) Savage, of Boston. Samuel married, November 11, 1742, Sarah Tyler, 
and had four sons: Samuel, born August 11, 1748; William, born June 14, 1750; 
Joseph, born June 14, 1756 ; and Henry, born December 18, 1758. Samuel was 
the son at Barnstable; William was in South Carolina; Joseph, a captain lieu- 
tenant at Albany ; and Henry was at New York. The service of those in the 
Continental army is given in "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in Revolution," 
xin. 830, 839. 


est at New York with Mr. Park I). Q. M. 6., or a private in the I 

meat to which he belongs. With what Rapidity !. 

in America, and bowman) thousand unforeseen events have tak< 

to bring on the important Scenes that are now acL ? the 

ways of Heaven mto misterious. 

Wo can almost weekly look hack and hoc how far wo have shot all 
like a Vessell with a strong tide under loot, and a leading * ! 
down a River. I pity and honor those who sett at holm, and 
need be carefull as the fate of all America is onboard, and 
may distroy the Bark; Many are the Dangers unto which we 
exposed, but none so great as those which lie anseen. 1 dread the 
gold of Brittaiu more than her lead. Happy for America, He 
hitherto guided our pilots, and done that for us which nothing but al- 
mighty power, under the direction of infinite Wisdom could have 
effected. How many States ever discordant till lately, arc n >w D 
Prejudice in favor of Brittain, which, but lately, was that 1». 
inveterate ever to be overcome, now subdued; difficult^ insu- 

parable, that lay in our way, removed, and an Arim of our ov 
which were so fond of home, willingly offering then - 
vice of their Country, jeoparding their Lives abroad. W< 
Sir, have our Fears, and one of mine is when the present Army in 
December is disbanded, how we shall collect a new one I 
now said, our Sons willingly offered themselves, and it was true until 
our late misfortunes at Canada, since which the troops raised for that 
Service have had from 50 to 100 Dollars ahead given tin m - 
by the Colony, Towns and individuals together, and it' some plan \s 
early adopted, and methods taken to perswade those now in I 
to enter again (for others there are not) we shall yet be in tie - 
Another of my Fears is, supporting the public Credit of our paper Cur- 
rency. Would it. not be well if all the money emitted on the Con: 
had the Credit of all the Continent Btampt on it? Otherwise it may 
be, some (loverments may emit more than their neighbours chu 
give a Credit to, which at this very critical Season may bring Oil - 

disagreable and perhaps dangerous disputes. Bui when 1 reflect I am 

no Statesman and that you know it, 1 feel the concions blush which for 
this once let attone lor the fault 1 only add in this subject that 

one must be sensible that ton thousand difficulties are to been< 

and as many evils avoided in forming a new and a large Stat< . .*■ d tho 

I have the highest opinion o( the Wisdom and Virtue of the 

Members of the Congress and think they have proved their.-. 

to their Appointments, yet they must remember that nei:h< r W 

or Virtue are heriditary. 1 smiled on reading Genl. <- arltoi 

in the beginning he seems to be in a dire passion, but before he fit 



is strangely softened : he must either have had a severe reproff from 
How, (conveyed privately) or he really trembles at the late Resolves 
of that Congress, he seems so heartily to despise. 1 How far Retalia- 
tion may be lawfule to be excersised by Man, I will not undertake to 
Bay, but this I dare affirm, that if it ever was fit to be practised, it is 
with those (now our enemies), who pay no regard to Justice, Humanity 
or Honor. I rather think, that as long as that Text remains in sacred 
Writt, " Vengeance is mine, I will repay," it never will be practiced by 
English Americans, or any thing mark the line of their Conduct, y l so 
much as seems to be contrary to the Will of Heaven. 

The Tories in this Colony begin to be pretty saucy, and as How 
collects Strength, they more and more shew themselves. We have too 
many of them and the captured Scoth, among us, considering so many 
of our young men are absent, to be secure, unless they were disarmd ; 
which for a long season I have thot a piece of prudence, and why that 
has not been done, those in power, best know. 

I wish my Circumstances would allow of a Visit to the Southward, 
I should see then in Fact, what I can but faintly know by accts from 
others ; but Prudence forbids. 

When this Colony assumd Goverment, I thot [seat] (tho I freely 
own it was w* much reluctance, as [seal] I was ever ashamed) to 
desire two Friends, if any small place turned up, which they thot I 
could fill, with honor to myself and advantage to my Country, to think 
on me. Sometime after, my Country honord me with an Appointment 
to the Seat of a Justice in the Inferior Court for this County ; mistaking 
my Ability as much as they crossd my Inclination, but which thro the 
perswation of many Friends I accepted. It sitts ill on me, and I fear 
'ere long like one of my Predecessors in the same County, I shall nod 
my Approbation, and sink into a State of Forgetfulness. My Country 
I wish to serve, but my pocket forbids a conspicuous post, if therefore 
any thing in which you think I may be serviceable, that would be a 
moderate standing dish, presents, and you mention my name, it will ever 
be gratefully be resented, but I had rather it should be omitted than 
once known 1 askd for it. I can only add, after wishing you y e Divine 
presence a blessing, that I am your very Affect Friend. 

[No signature.] 

Adams to Savage. Aug. 29, 1777. 
My dear Sir: — I have stepped aside to write you this Letter. It 
will be delivered to you by Daniel Clymer Esq, who is warmly attached 
to our great Cause. He is besides Nephew to General Roberdeau, 2 

1 Journals of the Continental Congress (Ford), v. 539. 

2 Daniel Roberdeau, a member of the Continental Congress, from Pennsyl- 
vania, 1777-1779. 

1910.] ADAMS-SAVAGE CORRESPONDENCE, 1770-1785. 331 

whose character is well known to the Publick. Your friendly Notice 
of Mr. Clytner and Introducing him into the Circle of your Acquaint- 
ance will much oblige me. lie tells me he has some Effects in Boston 
which he wishes to transport out of the state of Massachusetts] B[ay]. 
If you can assist him consistently with the law, you will add to the 
favor. I am with Respect to our Friends very affectionately Yours. 

Adams to Savage. 

York Town, Pennstlva. Octob. 26, 1777. 

My dear Sir : — I heartily congratulate you on the entire Victory 
obtained by General Gates over Burgoin. This is a striking Instance 
of the Truth of the Observation in Holy Writ, " Pride goeth before a 
Fall." Our sincere Acknowledgments of Gratitude are due to the 
Supreme Disposer of all Events. I suppose Congress will recommend 
that a Day be set apart through out the United States for solemn 

I rejoyce that my Friend General Gates, after what had happened, is 
honored by Providence as the Instrument in this great affair. The 
N. England Troops stand high in the Estimation of all sensible and 
impartial Men. 

Inclosed is a letter which shows that there are heroes also in this 
state. I fancy Howe is now as much in the Power of Genl. Washington 
as Burgoin was, of Gates. God grant he may share a similar Fate ! 
Flazelwood and his brave officers and Seamen merit great Praise. 1 

I received your favor by the Post and thank you for the Inclosures. 
Adieu my Friend. Yours in haste. 

Adams to Savage. 2 

York Town, June 8, 1778. 

My dear Sir, — -I had the Pleasure of receiving a Letter from you 
while I was on my late Journey to this Place, which I do not recollect 
to have answered. 

Last Saturday, President Laurens received a letter from Lord Howe, 
and another from Gen. Clinton each enclosing Copy of an Act of the 
British Parliament conformable to the Bills which have already been 
published. An Answer was returned to his Lordship and the Genera] 
in which they are informed that " When the British King shall be 
seriously disposed to put an End to the unprovoked and cruel War 

1 This refers to the attack of Donop upon Fort Mercer, Red Bank, October 22. 
Hazelwood's conduct later brought merited punishment 

2 Addressed to Samuel P. Savage as President of the Board of War. 


waged against these United States, Congress will be ready to attend to 
such Terms of Peace as shall be consistent with the Honor of independ- 
ent Nations, the Interest of their Constituents, and the sacred Regard 
which they mean to show to Treaties." l 

Will you permit me to recommend to your Circle, Mr. Doree, the 
Bearer of this letter. He is a French Gentleman and is mentioned to 
me by my Friends in this Town, as very deserving of Notice. 2 Be so 
kind as to call on my dear Mrs. A., and let her know that I am in 
health, and have not Leisure to write to her at present. 

My Regards to Mrs. Savage, Mr. Scollay, and his Family, etc. 
Adieu my dear Sir. 

Adams to Savage. 

Philad. July 31 1778. 
My dear Sir, — Yesterday I arrived in the City, and today I have 
the Pleasure cf receiving your Letters of the 10th and 18th of June, 
the last of which inclosed the News Papers of that Day. I observe a 
Paragraph under the Head of Paris, the 15th of April, mentioning the 
Arrival of Mr. Adams a few days before. 3 I hope it is true ; but I 
wonder that no Notice was taken of it in a Letter from Portsmouth, of 
the 22d of the same Month, which mentions the sailing of the Commis- 
sioners from St. Helens on the 21st, and this was taken from a London 
Paper of the 25th, ten days after the announcing of his Arrival in Paris. 
Capt. Courter 4 brought us nothing new from France. You have com- 
monly had News from Europe earlier than we, though not so authenti- 
cally. Your Papers give us brilliant Accounts from that Quarter. 
" Spain has this day avowd her Acknowledgment and support of the 
Independence of America." " It is expected that Holland will be the 
next Power to recognize the Independence of America." &c. &c. These 
things we expected to hear of before this Time. They are the Effects 
of Instructions given to the Agents of Congress so long ago, as while 
they were at Baltimore in Dec. 76, 5 and at a time when the Enemy 
were striding through the Jerseys. Our affairs were then at a low Ebb 
indeed ; but Nil desperandum was the Motto of the (rue Patriots of 
America. Heaven has since done great Things for us, for which, I 

1 See Journals of the Continental Congress (Ford), xi. 572, 574. Adams was 
a member of the committee which drafted the answer. 

2 Fidel Dorre\ who had some commercial dealings with Congress. 

8 Adams embarked on the frigate Boston, February 13, 1778, and, after many 
exciting adventures, reached Paris, April 8. 

4 Harmon Courter. See Journals of the Continental Congress (Ford), xi. 
557, 564. 

5 When Silas Deane was sent to France. 

1010.] ADAM.'; SAVAGE & 

fear-, we are do! o thankful ai we ought to bo. On I 

con iderable Advantages over the E 

Particular are not yet come to hand. Ifou •rill d 

before I ihall be able to inform you of them. I 

in v elf the L'lea are oi e ing the Lib 

on ;i olid Foundation, li will then be mj 

lea ed from all publick Cures, and iil down \\i''' 

( lircle of faithful 1 1 i> nd i in the Col Oh I 

give Thanks to the God oi [leaven for the gn U th 

America, and fervently pi i) thai ihe may be virl i 

she cannot long enjoy the B I »m. 

I am greatly concerned for my dear nati 
stood foremost in the Cause of Religion ai I I. 
her < rlory. We may ly in '< <■ X - . I [ei I ' 
had great [nfluence in Becuring the Liberti< 
not exchanged ber manlj V in ue, for Lei 

of ridiculous Vices, which will speedily -ink her in l I am 

affraid the cry of too manj is Quarenda /' 

Gel Money, Money still 

And then let \ will ! 

The inordinate Love of < rain, will make a Bh i\ 
Character of those who have heretofore sacrifl 
the Love of their Country. He is the best Patriot wl 
of Vice, because thai is the most destructive 1 
Allien my Friend. 

My Friendly Regards to Mrs. Savage, Mr. S 

The inclosed Letters from General Washington ha\ 
published Biuce writing the foregoing. 1 

Savagi ro Adams. 

M v \ i i;v i>i w: Sir, - I index a Letter n I 

give you pleasure ; il is from One of your d 

Proj my Friend what oocasioned the i 
Hfancockl. He arrivd quite ui 
tures for the true Cause ; his Friends say the \ - 
not Bute him. 

1 send voi.r Favors of ;; July and 8 June, 
last Saturday the good Gentleman having 

1 Rti letters of June M and Julj I, |ivln| an i 
Monmouth Court Hoi 


Boston have drawn a spirited Petition to the Select Men for a Meeting 
to prevent y c Return of the Tories. 

The present posture of our Affairs seems much more agreeable than 
of late. Heaven prosper the Expedition on foot. The post is just 
going. I can only add that I am Yf very Aflfecte and most Ob 1 Serv*. 

Adams to Savage. 

Philad. October 17, 1778. 
My dear Sir, — I suppose you will have seen before this reaches 
you the Pennsylvania Packett of tuesday last, which contains a Resolu- 
tion of Congress expressing their Sense that true Religion and good 
Morals are the only Foundation, of Publick Liberty and Happiness; 
and earnestly recommending to the several States to take the most 
effectual Measures for the Encouragement thereof, and to prevent 
Stage playing and such kiuds of Diversions, as are productive of Vice, 
Idleness, Dissipation and a general Depravity of Principles and Man- 
ners. Also enjoyning on all Officers of the Army to see that the 
Rules prescribed for the Encouragement of Virtue and the discounte- 
nancing of Prophaness and Vice are duly executed. You must know 
that in humble Imitation, as it would seem, of the Example of the 
British Army, some of the Officers of ours have condescended to act on 
the Stage; while others, and one of superior Rank, were pleased to 
countenance them with their Presence. This with some other Appear- 
ances as disagreeable to the sober Inhabitants of this City as to 
Congress, gave Occasion for the Resolution. I am sorry that by a 
Repetition of a theatrical Performance, which at least appeared to be 
done in Contempt of the Sense of Congress, another Resolution became 
necessary. 1 You will see it in the enclosed Paper. The young french 
Marquiss has discoverd the Dignity of the Citizen in the Regard he so 
readily paid to the sentiments of those in Civil Authority on this occa- 
sion. I hope that other Gentlemen " of the first Rank and Fortune 
who deny themselves the Pleasures of domestick life and expose them- 
selves to the Hardships of a Camp in the glorious Cause of Freedom," 
show as much good sense and Attention to the Cause of Virtue. 

Savage to Adams. 

Boston, Oct r , 1778. 
My very dear Sir, — l'ours of the 30 th septem r I receivd, the 
Cover also with the Letters for M r A and others, are delivered. 

Y"our Observations on the education of Y'outh, gave me pleasure. A 

1 The two resolutions are printed in the Journals of the Continental Congress 
(Ford), xii. 1001, 1018. Probahly Arnold was the officer "of superior rank" 
mentioned. See Penn. Mag. of History, in. 364. 

1910.] ADAMS-SAVAGE CORRESPONDENCE, 1776-1785. 335 

wise preceptor by the Choice of Subjects, might in every branch of 
Literature inspire the young mind with the love of God and his 
Country, and make that, Recreation which is too often considered and 
dreaded as a Task. I doubt not many a Genius hath been spoiled by 
being obliged to trudge on thro the dull round of stated exercises, and 
faulted if nature forces to an excentric motion. 

You discover your love to dear N England in all you do or write : 
partiality here perhaps may be a Virtue : but to ascribe the happy 
Cause of American Independence to N E only, is with me a doubt. I 
also dearly love my Country, and tho I feel too great a partiality for 
her, yet the heroes and Statesmen, S° Caro : and Virginia have fur- 
nished for the Field and the Cabinet, lead me to believe their Constitu- 
ents are inspired with the same glorious Spirit. 

You ask me, whether a Nation may not be independent and at the 
same time bound in the strongest Fetters of Slavery. There was a 
time at the beginning of this bloody Contest when I trembled for my 
Country, fearing, whether free or bound, we should all turn Sots. The 
Vice is altered, The man's the same, and unless heaven interpose we 
shall all turn Sharpers, and tho free in a political, yet in a moral Sense, 
Slaves to the worst of passion, Covetiousness. What follows is between 
me and thee, and friendship must apologize for what is imprudent or 
otherwise amiss. I most sincerely value you as my Friend, but as 
much as I value you my Country lies nearer my heart, and I greatly 
fear the differences now subsisting between you and" your once worthy 
Friend M r . Hjancock] may greatly hurt her interest : the Perfects are 
already visible ; the enemies of America triumph in the Strife and are 
taking every measure to encrease the F'lame. The Friends of their 
Country cannot stand by idle Spectators; they see the en creasing Con- 
test with weeping eyes and aching hearts, & wish a Reconciliation. 
Permit me my Friend to attempt (however inadequate to the Ta>k"i a 
Restoration of friendship between two who once were dear to each 
other, and who now perhaps from mistakes and misapprehensions seem 
so distant. 

It was an excellent Observation of Luther, between whom and 
Calvin a breach once happened, Calvin, says he, was first in the Trans- 
gression, but I glory in being first in the Reconciliation. Here was 
discoverable true greatness of Mind, and we have the evidence of In- 
spiration, that he who conquers himself is greater than he who taketh a 
city. I am sure, from your Soul, you detest the modern notions oi 
honor, and pray, my dear Sir, tell me where lies the difference, but in 
degree, between him who settles a Dispute by a Sword or pistol and 
the man who but nurses an unfriendly sentiment against his brother: 
this temper you much dislike in another, why will you sutler a moment 
in your own bosom? The dear Master, who you now love was first in 


the Reconciliation and hath forgiven you; "go thou and do likewise" 
let his precept, let his dear example force you to a reconciliation; let 
the Cry of the Widow and Fatherless throughout America, who dearly 
love and honor you both; let the dear Country plead the necessity — 
let every argument drawn from Calvary to the least Aceldama in 
America be urged to unite in Friendship, two Gentlemen, upon whose 
reconciliation so much good to the Country depends. 

You are both men and must both die and, then, if not till then, this 
must be the Work, or the pillow of death will be uneasy. I could use 
a thousand arguments and point out as many motives, but words are 
needless-, your own good sense can supply more and of more Cogency 
than my Invention can furnish. 

Did I not remember I was writing to one who I believe to be a fol- 
lower of the meek and lowly Savior, I should fear this unaccustomd 
freedom would dissolve a Friendship, I most highly prize, but as I trust 
the Friendship is mutual, I will believe you will receive it as it is 
really designed an Instance of the sincere Esteem and regard with 
which I am Yr most sincre (tho perhaps weak) Frd and Ser'. 1 

Adams to Savage. 

Boston, Nov. 29, 1785. 

My dear Friend, — Being from an intimate Acquaintance assured 
that you are a Friend to men of real Merit, give me Leave to recom- 
mend to you Sam 1 Barret Esq r , who is desirous of being appointed 
Clerk of the Sessions and of the Common Pleas in your County. His 
good Character you well know. He has met with repeated singular 
Misfortuues during the late War and since. From his Representation, 
of the Truth of which I cannot doubt, he has conducted himself with 
Candour, Judgment, and Integrity. If it be not inconsistent with your 
own upright Views, you will oblige me by favouring his Wishes. I am 
affectionately Your Friend. 

Dr. Green communicated the following note : 

I have received from Mr. J. H. Morse, of San Francisco, for 
the Society, an interesting relic of former times. It is a 
ticket which entitles J. F. Fellows to a free pass for three 
months on the Winnisimmet Ferry between Chelsea and 
Boston. It reads as follows : 

1 Adams's reply is in Wells, " Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams," 
in. 66. 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETH ROGERS, 1802, 1863 


No. Chelsea, Oct. 1 1845 

This Ticket Entitles Mr. J. F. Fellows and the persons whose 
names are hereupon endorsed, to pass in the Steam Boats whenever 
they run between Boston and Chelsea, for a term beginning at this 
date, and ending Jany, 1846 

Not Transferable. 

D. W. Smith Cashier. 
[Endorsed] Miss Fellows. 

Sixty-five years ago Chelsea was a village of five thousand 
inhabitants, and to-day, together with the towns of Revere and 
Winthrop set off from its territory, it has a population of sixty 
thousand persons. What interested me especially in the ticket 
was the fact that more than sixty years ago I knew Mr. John 
F. Fellows, who at that time lived in Chelsea and was connected 
with " The Boston Daily Atlas." 

Colonel T. W. Higginson submitted a series of war letters, 
extracts from which were, in his absence, read by Dr. E. H. 
Hall. These were private letters, written to his daughter by 
Dr. Setli Rogers, Surgeon of the First South Carolina Vol- 
unteers under Colonel Higginson in 1862-64, a regiment of 
that name enlisted under Brigadier General Rufus Saxton, 
Military Governor of the Department of the South. This 
regiment (renumbered in February, 1864, the thirty-third 
United States Colored Infantry under an alphabetical arrange- 
ment) was lately pronounced by the "Association o( the 
Graduates of West Point" to have been "the first regiment 
of colored troops ever formed and enlisted into the service 
of the United States." The first Massachusetts colored regi- 
ment, Colonel Shaw's, was some months later; and it is to be 
remembered that the entire number o( colored troops enlisted 
during the Civil War was 186,107, by official announcement. 



A Surgeon's War Letters. 

Camp Saxton, Beaufort, S. C. 

December 27, 1862. 

. . . There is a little more of solid reality in this work of camp-life 
than I have found in any previous experience. You remember my de- 
light in the life of ship surgeon, when I had three hundred and fifty of 
the lowest Irish to care for. Multiply that delight by ten and you will 
approximate to what I get among these children of the tropics. A 
more childlike, jovial, devotional, musical, shrewd, amusing set of beings 
never lived. Be true to them and they will be devoted to you. I 
leave all my things in tent unguarded and at loose ends, as I could 
never think of doing in a white regiment, and if I ever lose anything 
you shall be informed. Their religious devotion is more natural than 
any I ever witnessed. At this moment the air is full of melody from 
the tents, of prayer and hymns, mingled with the hearty yah, yah, of the 
playful outsiders. 

Last night I had too many business letters to get off in today's mail 
to allow me time for writing half of what I wished, and since then I 
have lived so lonor that much has been lost in the acres. I want, once 
for all, to say that Col. H. is splendid — pardon the McClellan word, — 
beyond even my anticipation, which, you know, has for years been 
quite exalted. I stood by General [Rufus] Saxton, who is a West 
Pointer, the other night, witnessing the dress parade, and was delighted 
to hear him say that he knew of no other man who could have magically 
brought these blacks under the military discipline that makes our camp 
one of the most enviable. Should we by possibility ever increase to a 
brigade I can already foresee that our good Colonel is destined to be 
the Brigadier General. 

I am about selecting my orderly from among the privates, and just 
now a Lieutenant brought little " Charlie " before me : a boy of four- 
teen or fifteen, who saw his master shot at Hilton Head without weeping 
over it ; who had some of his own teeth knocked out at the same time. 
He has always taken care of his master and knows so many things that 
I shall probably avail myself of his bright eyes and willing hands. We 
have had an old uncle " Tin ,"' whom I should take if I had the time 
and strength to wait upon him when he should get too tired to wait 
upon me. He is a dear old man who prays day and night. 

I have forgotten whether I have written that the mocking-bird sings 
by day and the cricket by night. To me it is South America over 
again. The live oak grows to enormous size. Today I made thirty 
of my longest paces across the diameter of the branches of one of thes-^ 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETH ROGERS, 1862,1863. 339 

handsome trees. The beautiful gray moss pendent everywhere from 
its branches gave the most decided impression of fatherliness and age. 

Col. H. kindly invited James and me to mess with him and the ad- 
jutant. Thus we have a pleasant little table under the supervision or 
"William and Ilattie," in an old home just outside the camp. I am 
yet sharing the young captain's tent, but in a day or two shall have my 
own pitched. . . . We are not more than fifty rods from the shore. 
Our landing is remarkable for its old fort, built of shells and cement in 
16 — by Jean Paul de la Ribaudiere. 1 Its preservation is almost equal 
to monuments perpetuated by Roman cement. 

The chance for wild game here is excellent, and in anticipation I 
enjoy it much, while in reality I doubt whether I shall ever find time 
for such recreation, and actual profit to our stomachs. It is not very 
easy for us to get fresh meat here, but we shall not suffer, because 
oysters are plentiful and fresh. 

Our Chaplain is a great worker, and has a good influence over the 
soldiers — I presume Mr. Wasson knows him, — Mr. [James II.] 
Fowler, who was not long ago at Cambridge. 

My first assistant surgeon is Dr. Hawks 2 of Manchester, N. II. He 
is a radical anti-slavery man, somewhat older than I, and has had a 
large medical experience and in addition has been hospital surgeon at 
Beaufort during several months. He has been rigidly examined by 
three regimental surgeons from New England, and they have given him 
a very flattering certificate of qualification. I consider myself fortunate 
in having a man so well fitted for the place. The men and officers 
like him, and I fancy will take to him quite as much as to me. The 
second assistant is not yet decided upon, but will probably be a young 
man who has already been several mouths in the army. The hospital 
steward has also had experience . . . 

December 31, 1862. 
I examine from sixty to eighty men every morning and make pre- 
scriptions for those who need them. Doing this and visiting those in 
the hospital, usually keeps me busy from breakfast to dinner : after 
that my assistants can "see care" ordinarily of everybody till next 
morning. My afternoons are almost equally busy in contriving ways 
to keep the soldiers from getting sick, improving my hospital, etc. We 
have to make everything as we go on. The hospital is the upper 
floor of an old cotton gin building. I had the machinery moved and 

1 The writer appears to have been confused in his reference. Ribault'a colony 
of 1502 was at Tort Royal Sound, in the territory then known as Florida Two 
years after Rene* de Laudonniere established himself at the mouth of St John's 
River, Florida, where he was superseded by Ribault in 1566. In that year the 

Spaniards under Menendez wiped out the settlement. See J Proc . Till 116. 

2 J. M. Hawks. 


bedsteads made, beds made and filled with dry, coarse grass that the 
soldiers brought on their heads from the plains, and eight sick men 
were put in last Thursday. It was a hard day's work, but the men 
were very sick, and I had all the help that could work in the building. 
We have no such thing as pillows or sheets, but we have plenty of 
blankets, and the knapsacks answer nicely for pillows. Dr. Hawks 
had already got a good fire-place in the room and now everything is as 
systematic, and almost as comfortable, as in any hospital. . . . Some of 
our officers and men have been off and captured some oxen, and today 
all hands have been getting ready for a great barbecue, which we are 
to have tomorrow. They have killed ten oxen, which are now being 
roasted whole over great pits containing live coals made from burning 
logs in them. 

January 1, 1863. 

This is the evening of the most eventful day of my life. Our barbecue 
was a most wonderful success. Two steamboats came loaded with people 
from Beaufort, St. Helena Island and Hilton Head. Among the vis- 
itors were some of my new acquaintances. My friend, Mr. Hall of the 
voyage on the Delaware. But the dearest friend I found among them 
was Miss Forten, whom you remember. She is a teacher of the freed 
children on St. Helena Island. Gen. Saxton and his father and others 
came from Beaufort, and several cavalry officers hovered around the out- 
skirts of our multitude of black soldiers and civilians, and in the centre 
of all was the speakers' stand, where the General and our Colonel and 
some others, with the band, performed the ceremonies of the day. 
Several good speeches were made, but the most impressive scene was 
that which occurred at the presentation of the Dr. Cheever flag to our 
regiment. After the presentation speech had been made, and just as 
Col. Higginson advanced to take the flag and respond, a negro woman 
standing near began to sing" America," and soon many voices of freed- 
men and women joined in the beautiful hymn, and sang it so touchingly 
that every one was thrilled beyond measure. Nothing could have been 
more unexpected or more inspiring. The President's proclamation and 
General Saxton's New Year's greeting had been read, and this spon- 
taneous outburst of love and loyalty to a country that has heretofore so 
terribly wronged these blacks, was the birth of a new hope in the hon- 
esty of her intention. I most earnestly trust they may not hope in vain. 

Col. Higginson was so much inspired by the remarkable thought of, 
and singing of, the hymn, that he made one of his most effective speeches. 
Then came Gen. Saxton with a most earnest and brotherly speech to the 
blacks and then Mrs. Frances D. Gage, and finally all joined in the John 
Brown hymn, and then to dinner. A hundred things of interest occurred 
which I have not time to relate. Everybody was happy in the bright 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETH ROGERS, 1862, 180?. 341 

sunshine, and in the great hope. The ten oxen were eaten with hearty 
relish and barrels of molasses and water and vinegar and ginger were 
drunk to wash them down. Mr. Hall, Miss Forten and some others 
took dinner with us. 

January 2, 1863. 

... I did not observe any reporters at our barbecue yesterday, but 
I presume some of the journals will contain enough to make it unneces- 
sary for me to write more than my letter of yesterday. I will, however, 
reiterate the statement that it was the most eventful day of my life. 
To know what I mean you must stand in the midst of the disenthralled 
and feel the inspiration of their birth into freedom. . . . There is 
nothing in history more touching and beautiful than the spontaneous 
outburst of these freed men and women just 'at the moment when our 
gallant colonel was receiving the flag of the regiment. None of us 
had ever heard them sing America, and the most infinite depth and 
tenderness of 

My Country 'tis of thee 

Sweet land of liberty 

was inspiring to the last degree. I doubt if our Col. ever spoke so well 
and he justly attributed inspiration to the unexpected singing of the 

January 6, 1863. 

For the first time in the six weeks Colonel H. has been in camp, he 
to-day went to Beaufort. He returns with a more civilized air and in- 
forms me that there are yet many people outside our camp. 

The rebel pickets above came down to the river bank this morning 
and announced that an armistice had been agreed upon for six months, 
and therefore laid aside their guns and sat on the bank, fishing. Their 
statement is not credited, because nobody believes the insanity of the 
nation has taken such a disastrous turn. 

I am steadily becoming acquainted with very remarkable men whose 
lives in slavery and whose heroism in getting out of it, deepens my faith 
in negro character aud intellect. The difference in physiognomy among 
them now seems to me quite as marked as among the whites and the 
physiognomy of their diseases is quite as apparent to me. 

January 9, 1863. 
This morning, the adjutant and I, with eight oarsmen, went down to 
Hilton Head in our surf boat. The distance cannot be far from twelve 
miles and the trip is a charming one, though the shores are wanting in 
those rugged qualities which help to make the difference in character- 
between the North and the South. Our black soldiers sang as they 


rowed — not the songs of common sailors — but the hymns of praise 
mingled with those pathetic longings for a better world, so constant 
with these people. There are times when I could quite enjoy more 
earthly songs for them, even a touch of the wicked, but this generation 
must live and die in sadness. The sun can never shine for them as for 
a nation of freemen whose fathers were not slaves. 

My special business in going to Hilton Head was to test the honesty 
of a certain medical purveyor, who does not incline to honor the requisi- 
tions of the surgeon of the 1st Reg. S. C. Vol's. He has not yet heard 
of the popularity of the black regiments, but Uncle Samuel will teach him 
that, as well as a few other things. But it will be too late for him to 
repent in this world when he shall have learned the lesson. 

The Flora — Gen. Saxton's steamer — came down from Beaufort 
and we were towed back by her to our camp. I met the General on 
the steamer and was delighted to find him in that mood over the pur- 
veyor's second refusal, which will work out a line of retributive justice. 
He read 1o me a letter just received by him from Secretary Stanton, 
which authorizes me to draw direct from New York. So we shall be all 
right within two weeks, I hope. In addition to all my other duties, I 
should quite like to prescribe for some of those pro-slavery scamps who 
disgrace the federal shoulder-straps. This particular case was polite 
enough to me, for which I was sorry. When Gen. [David] Hunter 
gets here there will be a bowing and scraping to the anti-slavery men 
that may awaken wickedness in my heart. . . . 

I am just now busy in trying to discover the causes of such an excess 
of pleurisy and pneumonia in our camp, as compared with white regi- 
ments. Thus far I can only get the reiteration of the fact that negroes 
are more subject to these diseases than are the whites. I should be 
very sorry to find that their nightly " praise meetings," or " shouts," 
acted an important role in the development of these diseases, yet, thus 
far, our gravest cases are the most religious. It would be a sad but 
curious coincidence, if while the Colonel and young captain are dili- 
gently taking notes of the songs and hymns of the soldiers, the surgeon 
should note a marked fatality resulting from this sweet religious ex- 
pression. We shall see. It is as difficult to inculcate temperance in 
religion here, among these sun-burned children, as to introduce it into a 
Methodist camp-meeting. I hope we shall not have to shut in religious 
expressions by military rules. 

Speaking of coincidence 5 ?, reminds me that I found the steward, this 
morning, putting up prescriptions in bits of the " Liberator." I don't 
believe Mr. Garrison's editorials ever before came so near these black 
soldiers. I wondered if the powders would not have some magic power 
• conveyed to them. South Carolina is getting a simultaneous doctoring 
of body and soul. 

1010.] i.i.i i KB "i DB. i.'i if BOG 

At. service today the Pn 
Colonel asked .-ill who wanted \>> fight for libert 
The re pome would fa i 
Abraham. , , , 

I have I" ' more than one hour*! deep 
to the coughing of the K>ldieri in the night and in in _■ • 
plans to meet the more obvioui In i clim 

with change <>i temperature 
have steadily fell the important • 
A tents could, with their clothing, be m 
Red than is ordinarily « l< > n<- by tin- ion. To h i 
for four men, wn houl Rreplai 
did not Beem quite feasible, but 
other company, an experiment which is likely to provi 
membering the antiseptic influence of wood ina 
tive cabins from which many of our people i 
had lire, buill in the centre of the tents, the fl 
being removed and a hole being dug in the -■ I 

soldiers enjoy this Bcheme. After the sm i 
make the tents seem very cosy. The Colonel 
ing every hygienic measure that offers ai 
lew days experiment with two companies will iettl< I 
comparison of sick lists. 

M' ■ 

Tonight I am seated in mj own tent, and mj ord i 
practising on a copy of bis name on the othei 
pine tablet I have b double tent, I s 

vateil about :i fool from the Band and .-pen ;it t : 

can whistle under, as well as over, my two rooms, 1 

each nine feet Bquare and parted bj the fold 

room enough for n large family and it seen 

so much, while those little 7 \ 8 

with four bodies in them. But with the dot! 

tut'iii, ihe\ could never be comfortable ale On 

1 like these little tent-, for soldiers better than U 

larger number. 1 see no waj of isolating - I 

unnatural life must, of course, \ v .w .■ • 

other hand the OUt-of-door lift) I 

wholesome laws. I Rnd our oflfoei 

[nstead of Are place . I h m s found i 1 

that 1 can have all the front open and thus pi the 

tent .so pleasant and social. . . . 


January 13, 1863. 

. . . When I sit down at evening it always seems as if there could be 
but one subject to write upon, the music of these religious soldiers, who 
sing and pray steadily from supper time till "taps" at 8.30, interrupted 
only by roll-call at eight. The chaplain's pagoda-like school-house is 
the scene of earnest prayers and hymns at evening. I am sure the 
President is remembered more faithfully and gratefully in prayer by 
these christian soldiers than by any other regiment in the army. It is 
one thing for a chaplain to pray for him, but quite another for the sol- 
diers to kneel and implore blessings on his head and divine guidance 
for his thoughts. t These men never forget to pray earnestly for the 
officers placed over them ; such prayers ought to make us true to them. 

This afternoon, for the first time, our men are getting some money — 
not direct from the Government, but through that constant friend to 
them — Gen. Saxton, who waits for Government to refund it to him. 
The real drawback to enlistments is that the poor fellows who were in 
the Hunter regiment have never been paid a cent by the Government. 
Without reflection, one would suppose the offer of freedom quite suffi- 
cient inducement for them to join us. But you must remember that 
not the least curse of slavery is ignorance and that the intellectual 
enjoyment of freedom cannot, by the present generation, be so fully 
appreciated as its material gifts and benefits. Just think how few there 
are, even in New England, who could bravely die for an Idea, you will 
see that the infinite love of freedom which inspires these people is not 
the same that fills the heart of a more favored race. . . . 

Before breakfast this morning I stood on the shore and listened to 
the John Brown hymn, sung by a hundred of our recruits, as they 
came up the river on the steamer Boston, from St. Augustine, Fla. 
Our Lieut. Col. [Billings] * went down last week for them and today we 
have received into our regiment all but five, whom I rejected in conse- 
quence of old age and other disabilities. It seemed, hard to reject men 
who came to fight for their freedom, but these poor fellows are a hin- 
drance in active service, and we might be compelled to leave them to 
the mercy of those who know not that " It blesseth him that gives and 
him that takes." 

... I wish you could see how finely the Colonel appears in my dress 
coat. His was sent from Worcester quite a time before I left New 
England, but has never reached him. Very likely some miserable 
colonel of a poor white regiment appropriated it. I pity those who get 
so demoralized by association and wish they could have the benefit of 
our higher code. As I am less for ornament than for use here, I of- 
fered my coat to the Colonel, and was glad to find that Theodore [a 
tailor in Worcester] had applied his " celestial " principle " under the 
1 Col. Liberty Billings. 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETH ROGERS, 1862, 1803. 345 

arms/' so that a Beaufort tailor could easily make an exact fit for the 
upper sphere. To sick soldiers it is unimportant whether I have one 
or two rows of buttons, and my handsome straps fit just as well on my 
fatigue coat as on the other. . . . 

At this moment the camp resounds with the John Brown hymn, sung 
as no white regiment can sing it, so full of pathos and harmony. I 
know you will think me over enthusiastic about these people, but every 
one of you would be equally so, if here. Every day deepens my 
conviction that if we are true to them they will be true to us. The 
Colonel arrives at the same conclusion. When I think of their long- 
suffering at the hands of the whites, and then of their readiness to for- 
give, I feel a reverence for the race that I did not know before coming 
among them. You need not fancy that I find them perfect; it has not 
been my fortune to find mortals of that type, — even in Worcester, — 
but I do find them, as a people, religious, kind hearted, forgiving and 
as truth loving as the average of whites, more so than the Irish of the 
lowest rank. 

January 17, Evening. 

This has been a triumphant day for our regiment. We have marched 
to Beaufort and back in such style as to turn jeers into admiration, and 
tonight our men are full of music and delight. The Colonel, not con- 
tent with marching the whole length of the front street, actually stopped 
on the parade ground and drilled the regiment an hour or more, and 
then they marched home to the music of their own voices. The differ- 
ent encampments at Beaufort had large delegations by the way-side, as 
we entered the town, and we were greeted with such language as per- 
tains to vulgar negro haters. Our men were apparently indifferent to 
it and the officers could afford to wait in silence. I fell aback to the 
rear with the major and was constantly delighted at the manly bearing 
of our soldiers. Not a head was turned to the right or left — not a 
word spoken. At length a white soldier struck a negro man, not of 
our regiment, and the poor fellow appealing to us, we wheeled our 
horses upon the rabble, and Major Strong, with drawn sword pursued 
the offender, with the point of that instrument a little nearer the fel- 
low's back than seemed wholesome. I have rarely seen one more 
thoroughly frightened. The effect was magical, no more audible 
sneers. But wasn't it good to march our regiment proudly in the 
front of those mansions where two years ago the [Southern] chivalry 
were plotting something as strange, but quite unlike. 

January 18, Sunday evening. 
Such a transparent day and cool north winds make even South 
Carolina endurable, while it lasts, 1 mean. When Genera] Hunter 
gets here we expect to nullify the State. ... In our camp most euri- 



ous problems present themselves, as how to keep people from scurvy 
without vegetables and fresh meat; how to have a good fire in tents with- 
out a fireplace, stove or ventilation ; how to make bread without yeast 
and without oven. How to treat the sick without medicines, — how to 
amputate limbs without knives, — all these and many other similarly 
knotty questions the surgeon of the First Regiment of S. C. Vol's, has 
to consider, — sometimes when he ought to be sleeping. This is not 
said complainingly. Our men rarely complain and those jeering white 
soldiers who saw their firm tread in the streets of Beaufort, yesterday, 
must have discovered a reason for their patience, this silent waiting. 
There was a Destiny in the silent, dignified bearing of our men, yes- 
terday. I never in my life, felt so proud, so strong, so large. . . . 
Hurrah ! Hurrah ! — the Quartermaster just in with despatch from 
signal officer announcing arrival of the Arago, and a gun boat at Hilton 
head, and General Hunter has come. 

January 20, 1863. 

Gen. Hunter is in earnest about arming the blacks, so we may 
confidently expect the well-done to increase. The little opposition to 
our movement will fall to the ground so soon as we can prove our 
worthiness by marked success. Remember, it requires not only time 
but deeds, to undo the hateful lesson this Republic ( ! ) has been so long 
teaching. The public heart has virus in it, and nothing but the flow of 
arterial blood can purify it. The innocent must suffer for the guilty. 

I am begiuning to find a little leisure for noting verbatim some of the 
individual histories of these soldiers and shall endeavor to forward them 
to you. The Colonel and young captain have transcribed many of their 
songs and hymns, but, without the music of their peculiar voices, I con- 
fess the words do not much interest me. Now and then a fine, poetical 
expression, but as a rule, somewhat dry, like the human skull Serg't 
Rivers brought me one day. Their autobiographies, on the contrary, 
if one has the time and patience to draw them out, are often so unique 
that I feel deeply interested in them. 

At dress parade, tonight, the Colonel had some of my sanitary meas- 
ures embodied in a general order and read by the Adjutant. One of 
the most important details was that each tent is hereafter to have a 
fire in it at evening. We have tried it long enough in James's com- 
pany, to be satisfied of its utility. The men do not greatly mind the 
smoke and I have convinced the Colonel that it is one of the best puri- 
fiers and antiseptics we could have. 

January 21, Evening. 
Great days seem natural to us now. General Hunter has reviewed 
our regiment with Gen. Saxton, and the Colonel's long mourned dress 
coat has come, and I no longer weep in secret silence the sacrifice of 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETH ROGERS, 1802, 1863. 347 

mine. But we will leave coats for arms and ask you to congratulate the 
1st S. C. V. on the distinction conferred by the General in visiting as 
before any of those in Beaufort. And was it not refreshing to hear the 
General in command say to our soldiers, when formed in hollow square, 
" Men, I am glad to see you so well, I wish we had a hundred thousand 
soldiers like you. Before Spring I hope we shall have fifty thousand. 
You are fighting for your liberty and the liberty of your families and 
friends. The man who is not willing to fight for his liberty is not fit 
to have it." Probably I have not the exact phraseology, but it cannot 
differ materially. It was very impressive to us all, while the cheers 
that followed were stunning to us all. Then the dear, noble General 
Saxton, so long thwarted by pro-slavery opposition, stepped forward 
and informed the regiment that Gen. Hunter had this afternoon told 
him that fifty thousand Springfield rifles are coming to this department 
for the black soldiers. Then the Colonel introduced the surgeons to 
Gen'l Hunter and while taking him to our little hospital, I called his 
attention to the refusal of the Purveyor to honor any requisitions ; con- 
sequently, I take another requisition to Hilton Head, countersigned by 
General Hunter, and we shall see with what result. . . . 

Steamer Ben Deford, January 23, I860. 

I have refrained till now from informing you of a little expedition 
which for the last few days has been planning for us. I suppose there 
never was an expedition, however small, that got off at the time speci- 
fied, nor one that was kept secret. So we are five days later than in- 
tended, and the floating rumors of our plans are enough in number to 
make it appear that we are to take Charleston and all other prominent 
Secesh places on the coast of Dixie. 

The Planter, the same that Robert Small ran out of Charleston, and 
the John Adams, each with a company of soldiers and some large guns 
on board, started from camp at noon today, Major Strong 1 on the John 
Adams. About four this afternoon we started with four companies 
including that of Cap't R[andolph] the Colonel. Surgeon, and second 
assist't surgeon, and at this moment we are outside the bar. off Hilton 
Head, sailing as quietly in the soft moonlight and warm atmosphere as 
if our intentions were of the most peaceful nature. 

The Ben Deford is really a magnificent steamer for transporting 
troops. A turn among the soldiers just now, convinced me that we 
can have ventilation enough and warmth enough to prevent illness. It 
is a real pleasure to go and see them so quietly wrapped in their 
blankets, — no quarreling, no profanity. Very much depends upon 
our success in this expedition, and the whole responsibility rests upon 

1 John 1). Strong. 


our Colonel. lie has absolute authority over these three steamers. 
Our men were all anxious to go, and many, belonging to companies not 
designated for the trip, went to Col. H. and begged to go. Some have 
been permitted to do so. It remains to see how they will fight. 

St. Simon's Bay, January 24. 

At nine this morning we entered this bay expecting to find the John 
Adams waiting for us, but she was not to be seen. We dropped anchor 
and the Colonel and I went on board the gunboat Potomska. There 
we found a remarkable negro who resides on St. Simon's Island and 
who informed us that he knew of a quantity of Railroad iron, that was 
used in the construction of a fort, below, on the shore. So while wait- 
ing for the John Adams, the surf boats were manned and men enough 
taken ashore to secure about two thousand dollars worth of this new 
iron which is much needed at Hilton Head. 

With Lieut. West, I went up to the Hon. Thomas Butler King's 
estate, and confiscated a nice bath tub and three new windows for my 
hospital, which has only shutters. At four this afternoon the John 
Adams steamed down the bay. 

January 25. 

Still lying at anchor in St. Simon's Bay, waiting for the Planter. 
Judge Stickney of Florida is with us ; an able defender of the oppressed 
and a gentleman. I was much pleased to learn that he was a native of 
Vermont. Surgeon Richardson, formerly of the 9th Maine, is also 
with us. We are to leave him at Fernandina. His health has become 
so frail, he was compelled to resign. Last evening he presented me 
with a pair of shoulder straps for my fatigue coat, with the remark that 
it might become essential that I have them on. But I fancy that who- 
ever of our regiment falls into the hands of the Rebels would scarcely 
be saved by straps and sash. I feel that there is a tacit understanding 
that we are not to surrender under any circumstances. . . . The cap- 
tain of the steamer is an odd genius. 1 He is a Cape Cod man, whose 
profanity is so much a part of his nature that total abstinence from oaths 
might kill him. He swears vigorously for freedom and especially for 
the Massachusetts expression of it. Curses the sluggishness of govern- 
ment officials and swears the democrats ought to be sent to — . . . 
Says he has worked fifteen months with this steamer at an expense of 
four hundred thousand dollars to the government, and he does not be- 
lieve he has earned for it ten dollars that could not have been as well 
earned, if this, and some other steamers, had never been employed. 
Seven hundred and fifty dollars a day, exclusive of coal, counts up. 

1 Captain Hallett. 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETH ROGERS, 1802, 1803. 349 

Government ought to draft property as well as men, and then compen- 
sate when it gets through using it. Such a course would put an end to 
private speculation. ... 

January 20, 1863. 

The Planter got along last night and, with the John Adams, has gone 
through the "inside passage," while we are running outside to meet 
them at Fort Clinch, which is at the entrance of Fernandina Harbor. 

Since coming aboard the steamer I have more opportunity than be- 
fore to talk with the line officers about their men. I find an almost 
universal attachment and confidence. We have a few mulattoes in the 
regiment aud so far as I have conversed with the officers, their testimony 
is very decidedly in favor of the blacks, both for physical and intellect- 
ual points. I was prepared for the former, but was surprised to find 
that the ruling spirits among the soldiers are found mainly among the 

Steamer John Adams, St. Mart's River, 

January 20, 1863. 

. . . We are now in the heart of secesh and before morning shall 
have succeeded or failed in our purpose. At this moment the men are 
loading their muskets with a will that means fight. Our Colonel is 
cool and careful and I trust his judgment in our perilous undertaking. 
But if we should lose him ! 

This town was partly burned a few weeks ago by the gunboat Nep- 
tune. Some of her men went ashore when the white flag was shown, 
but the pickets fired upon them, — hence the destruction of the town. 
A woman has been waving her white handkerchief from one of the 
houses, but we do not care to do anything here. We are moving slowly 
and silently up the river, all lights above extinguished, save mine ami I 
have put my rubber blanket up for a curtain at the window. The 
Colonel is too considerate of me, but takes Dr. Minor 1 to land with the 
troops. I am sadly aware that I could not endure a rapid march o( ten 
miles on foot, so I have reluctantly fitted out Dr. Minor with my orderly, 
pistol and sash, tourniquets, etc., and shall try to possess my soul in 
patience, if not in peace. Our men show anything but fear as we pass 
between the double line of pickets. 


Oh! the terrible waiting! Before eleven P.M. one hundred ami 

seventy-live men had been landed at Township plantation, ten miles 
above St. Mary's, with the Colonel at their head. And new \ 
after volley of musketry off in the woods sets me to making final prep- 
arations for the wounded. 

1 Thomas T. Minor. 


January 27, 1863. 

I appropriated the mess-room for operations and the officer's berths 
to receive the wounded. Fortunately we had thought to bring candles 
along, — no others on board. ... It was not more than one hour be- 
fore we were busy dressing gun-shot wounds. One man was killed in- 
stantly by a ball through the heart and seven were wounded, one of 
whom will die. Braver men never lived. One man with two bullet 
holes through the large muscles of the shoulder and neck, brought off 
from the scene of action, two miles distant, two muskets and not a 
murmur escaped his lips. Another, Robert Sutton, with three wounds, 
one on the skull, which may cost him his life, would not report himself 
till compelled to do so by his officers. While dressing his wounds he 
quietly talked of what they had done and what they yet can do. 
Today I have had the Colonel order him to obey me. He is perfectly 
quiet and cool but takes this whole affair with the religious bravery of a 
man who realizes that freedom is sweeter than life. Yet another did 
not report at all, but kept all night on guard and perhaps I should not 
have known of his having a buck-shot in his shoulder, if some duty 
requiring a sound shoulder had not been required of him today. The 
object of our raid was to surprise and capture a company of rebel 
cavalry pickets, but, as is usual in this war, the enemy seemed to know 
the secret plan, and we only succeeded in making them skedaddle after 
a few rouuds, and in bringing off five contrabands, a fine piano [for the 
Beaufort schoolhouse] and divers other things. We also had the 
satisfaction of burning the plantation house and out-buildings, in 
accordance with general orders, so they will not screen any more 
pickets. We steadily send shot and shell over the bluffs to prevent 
their picking off men from our boat, which is their habit. All this is 
very exciting and I enjoy it much. I just now volunteered to go up 
on a bluff and burn a picket house of rendezvous, but I believe the 
Colonel thinks it is unsafe for his friends to do what he himself is ever 
ready to do. 

We reached St. Mary's before noon. I believe I have before stated 
that the town was partially burned by the Neptune, yet there were fifty 
or more houses remaining, including two large churches, a bank, etc. 
As we approached, the waving of white handkerchiefs began again, by 
the two maiden ladies (! !) residing in sight of the wharf. All the 
other houses were uninhabited. The women informed us that they 
were living entirely alone with their aged mother, that they were " St. 
Domingo ladies," but had not owned slaves since England abolished 
slavery there. Their antecedents have been so doubtful that the 
Colonel thought it best to search their house very carefully in spite of 
their protestations, and entreaties and talk of honor, etc. etc. I was 
permitted to join him and one of the captains in the search and found it 


very interesting though we discovered do rebel . 

a guard around the boose) a guard of such color 

the inmates. They told me that t h<-y had not Been pi< keti il a) 

many other things which I knew to be false. Bui 

them, they avowing that they were ladie* and thanking 

gentlemen. As we were about to leave- the wharf, bang, 

went secesh rifles from behind the houses and whi tl 

over our heads. We were not long in Bending shot an 

to protect our skirmishers and then the Colonel did what I begged him 

to do this morning — put nearly all the town in tl i 

of these Women and tWO Or three at the windward ol it. I ■ 
take the women down to Feinandiua and hum - 

Colonel thought it best to leave them, bo there will still be a 
and sympathy left there for the rebels. But we lefl an imi 

and I trust the pickets will have to rescue the women fro 

Si i vmii: I , n I ' , FERHAH] 


While superintending the transfer of the wounded from the 
Adams last night, I sent ashore for mattrasses, but withoul 
This morning I have been ashore and procured a bale of fit • aj 
Quartermaster Seward, a gentleman who was my partn< 
the Delaware and who is now wry prompt in doing whal he can for 
us, ao that now our men are about as comfortably pi u they 

Were in a hospital. Yesterday I saw how difficult it is to B 

vandalism when a town is to be burned. In this respect the bla ke 

much more easily controlled than the whites. Of course we i I 
right to appropriate what we need in the service of Uucle S.i'n. but 1 
would be as severe as the Colonel is on individual appropi e I - Mv 

only regret about burning the town is that we did n 
"unprotected ladies" the protection of our flag and then burn • 
house. I iin.1 the same feeling among officers here in I"' rnandii a. It 
we are ever to put down this ungodly rebellion, we mu . the 

broadest principles of justice. Ii I offer m\ life in the d 

country 1 shall not he slow nor economic. 1 in my demands upon mv 
enemies. This is true justice and wise hunianitv. 

companies were sent to St. Mary's on the Planter to load brick; 

Dr. Minor go with them. That 1 did uol go myself ii is the 

bravest thing I have done .since 1 came to Pixie. 

1 have just received a note from the Colonel, who - 

our line officers to making ready in haste tor anothi • i W 

are not vet done with St. Mary's River and BOOM ot" the '.:•. 


Hunts. The Planter has not yet returned, but has been using her 
artillery this morning shelling the pickets iu the woods, 1 presume. — 
I shall get some surgeou to care for my men in my absence. 

Steamboat John Adams, January 20, 1863. 
Again we are on our way into the heart of secesh. If we do not 
get blown to pieces before morning we shall get some distance above 
where any of our gunboats have been within a year. Tonight I have 
heard that a negro has come from the scene of the fight the other night, 
and he reports seven rebels killed, including their daring Capt. Clark. 
Capt. Clifton of this boat is a most singular mixture of candor and 
roughness and refinement. Though he swears like a trooper, there is 
a drollery and generosity and honesty about him that quite captivate 
me. The other night I was standing beside him in silence after our 
troops had marched away from the shore, and the mate came up and 
asked permission to go ashore and get some hens. The Captain 
exclaimed, "Oh, my God! Doctor, just think of this man robbing hen- 
roosts right in the midst of death and damnation." The deep, sepul- 
chral voice with which this was uttered made the whole thing so 
tragico-comical that I did not know whether to laugh or cry. 

Albeeti's Mills, 40 miles from Fernandina. 

January 30, 1863. 
This river is rebellious to the last degree. It is very crooked and 
sluggish and black and got us aground so many times in the long, 
sleepless night that rebel pickets might have picked off mauy of our 
men and officers. Again and again we had to turn points at right 
angles and we were never more than two rods from one or the other 
shore. Often the sides of our boat were swept by the boughs of the 
mournful looking trees. The shores are generally low and marshy, 
and the moss droops so low as to give the appearance of weeping 
willows. It is now eleven, a.m. and we are starting homeward. Oh, 
it is a queer night, so queer that more than once I laughed outright, 
when I thought of the curious fact that T. TV. H. and I were so indus- 
triously trying to get a peep at real rebels, while they would undoubt- 
edly do something to get a peep at us. In my time I have seen 
considerable mismanagement of one kind and another, but do not 
remember that I ever dreamed that so much of that article could be 
employed in one night on board a steamboat. Among the boat's 
officers there was no mutual understanding, and it is fortunate for us 
that the rebels did not know it. But at daylight we did reach Alberti's 
Mills, and then came for me an hour of fitful, dreamy sleep. I had 
made three vigorous efforts to sleep during the night, but enjoyed the 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETH ROGERS, 1862, 1863. 353 

calm moonlight and strange scenery and spice of danger too much for 
drowsiness. We passed picket fires and felt the possibility that our 
return might be obstructed, or greatly harassed. Very few officers 
have voluntarily dared such a responsibility as that resting on our 
Colonel, but he patiently and vigilantly met all the obstacles ami hurl 
his pickets and skirmishers so arranged . . . 

Evening and Ben Deford again, thank God ! 

... I had written thus far when the rebels bejran firing from the 
shore and I found myself among our soldiers, who replied with spirit 
and precision that sent more than one poor fellow to the dust. 

Captain Clifton of the John Adams was shot through the head and 
died instantly. The Major's [J. D. Strong] head escaped by about 
two inches. Strange to say no other accidents occurred in this nor in 
the subsequent firing from the bluffs on the Florida shore. The first 
attack was from the Georgia bluffs. They were both desperate, but 
of short duration. One fellow actually jumped on the flat-boat in tow, 
and was immediately shot by one of our soldiers. I afterwards asked 
Robert Sutton what he himself was about during the conflict, and found 
that he was deliberately shooting from the pilot house, with two guns, 
having a man to load one while he fired the other. But now I will go 
back to the sunrise. As I was saying, the pickets and skirmishers were 
so placed that there was no escape for the white families at Alberti's 
Mills. The Colonel had gone ashore and a little after sunrise sent for 
me to go off and take with me some copies of the President's proclama- 
tion. I found a little village, all included in the A. estate, and the man- 
sion was occupied by Madame A. and her family. She was a Now Yorker 
by birth and her deceased husband was a native of Philadelphia. Mr. B., 
former business partner of his — A.'s — was at the house on a visit, ill 
with chronic bronchitis. lie, being an important person, must be made 
prisoner, unless too feeble to be removed from the house. I ton ml, on 
examination, that he could be taken with us without danger to himself. 
Madame A. spent much time trying to convince me that she and her 
husband had been wonderfully devoted to the interests of their slaves. 
especially to the fruitless work of trying to educate them. The truth o\ 
these assertions was disproved by certain facts. — such as a strong slave 
jail, containing implements of torture which we now have in our posses- 
sion, (the lock I have), the fact that the slaves have " mostly gone over 
to the Yankees," and the yet other fact that Robert Sutton, a former 
slave there, said the statement was false. The statement of a Mack 
man was lawful in Dixie yesterday. I called Madame A.'s attention 
to a former slave of hers, whom she remembered as ■• Bob," but never 
before knew as Robert Sutton, — corporal in the army of the United 
States. Robert be<2'ji - ed me to forgive him for breaking through mv order 



that he should not exert himself at all till the danger of inflammation of 
the brain should be averted. The white bandage about his head was 
conspicuous at the points of danger through all the twenty-four eventful 
hours of our expedition. It finally devolved upon him and Sergeant 
Rivers l to examine the persons of our six rebel prisoners, for concealed 
weapons of defense. This last [process] was so very anti-slavery, that 
I fancied the rebels enjoyed it somewhat less than I. 

I am told that thirteen riderless horses went back to camp after that 
fight in the woods the other night ; that the lieutenant [Jones] in com- 
mand and five others were killed and many others wounded. Could 
our party have known the exact state of affairs, the camp might have 
been destroyed and many prisoners taken. But it was safer and wiser 
for infantry not to follow cavalry in the night. Our comrades on the 
Ben Deford greeted us heartily and the Provost Marshal was in readi- 
ness to take charge of our prisoners. We shall probably take Mr. B. 
to Beaufort with us. He is a wealthy and influential rebel and may 
become a very important hostage when Jeff Davis begins to hang us. 
We brought off two or three negroes, and rice, corn, sheep and other 
valuable things, strictly contraband of war. I wanted the Colonel to 
take a piano already boxed, and in a store-house at the wharf, but we 
had no room for it. I thought it would especially please Miss Forten 
to have it in her school. 

January 31, evening. 
While I keenly enjoy these moonlight excursions I find that like 
rising at three o'clock in the morning to go for pond lilies, one is satis- 
fied with about three trips a week. You can imagine a little what an 
immense tax such a life makes upon the nervous system. But I find 
we sleep well as soon as opportunity offers. This rough life of ex- 
posure in the open air puts an end to morbid excitability of the nerves, 
and one jumps at any reasonable chance for a snooze. 

Sunday, February 1, 1863. 
This morning the Planter, with Capt. [Charles T. ] Trowbridge's 
and Capt. Rogers' companies, met us in St. Simon's Bay. They have 
not been idle. They left Cumberland Bay the day before yesterday 
and taking the inside route, destroyed some salt works, which opera- 
tion has damaged the rebels to the extent of about twenty five thousand 
dollars. They met with no opposition, but had a hard time dragging 
their boats through a marsh. The marshes, or savannahs, in this part 
of the country, which border the rivers, are almost impassable for human 
beings, yet many a slave has waded through them toward the north star 
of freedom. 

1 Prince Rivers. 


Today I find a formidable sick list, the result of huddling ->> • 

men together in the hold of the John Adams, but J think nol 
ouh will come of it. The officer in command at Fernandina 1 
authority to Bend out a flag of truce with prison U ours 

to Beaufort. I am exceedingly glad of it, since 1 have found, thi 
Robert Sutton, that one oi them shot a man while be was tryii 

escape to the u yankces." After I had dressed Robert :. thi* 

morning, he took me to the rebel and ingeniously made him say : ■ N . 
you are mistaken, the gun went off accidentally." "And ■ 
he was not killed, hut died of fever." "Then," Baid I. • 
threaten to shoot him?" " Yes, hut I intended it only as a tl 
Robert said "I know you killed him;" and I to Robert, •'[. 
timony of black men is legal now in Florida." 

We are taking several white soldiers and officers from Fen andina 
to Hilton Head. Their prejudice against our Boldiers i- amusii g. We 
happen to have command of this steamer and, of course, have th( 
places. I find white soldiers sleep on deck rather than •_"> below with 
our men. Last evening I saw a Lieutenant getting two ofoui 
to take his trunk down to the cabin and he was rather Bnddenly in- 
formed by Lieut. West that United State- Boldiers W< 
called upon to do menial service. Another Lieut i I the 

opinion to our rough and ready (.'apt. [George] Dolly, that " 
niggers" never would light much. Dolly, in his fearful way. 
" You d — d fool ; these soldiers have already fought more bravely 
than you ever will, you who have lived a couple of years on Uncle 
Sam without earning a cent for him." The Lieut, did not think it 
safe to reply. I fancy Dolly. He is a vandal, but generous and 
His men love him and fear him. His order- are BOmewhat :• 
in battle. I happened to be standing by him when he gave the 
mand, " (Vase firing, but if they lire again, gi r'- hell." 

The Colonel's daring bravery has deepened the love aid admira 

of his men and ollirers. I have been a constant source I : . 

him by words of caution, but am happy to know that they Were !. 

The death of (apt. Clifton was a terrible continuation oi all I have 

said, and I doubt if the Major [Strong] again puts himself QUI 

sarily in the way oi so much danger. 1 OOuld DOl get the ball that 

passed through the mess room where 1 was writing, but I picked one 

up in the prisoner's room, adjoining, Had we been the prisoners, 

place would have been on the upper deck, when* they begged WC « 
not put them, ami where no one dreamed oi putting them. A 
them, except Mr. 1>., arc now forward with the Soldiers. • ■ . 

Our expedition has been a capital IU0Q68S, Wo have had OU 
three times under tire and know that they only care to face the 61 
Wo know also, that they can be trusted with the 0ODQU4 N 


a single unbecoming act have I seen or heard of on the part of the 
guards, skirmishers or pickets. It was not for want of temptation, and 
I am led to wonder at their self-control. The material benefit to the 
Government, of the expedition, is not inconsiderable. We are more 
than ever satisfied that the blacks must help us in this war. The next 
question to solve, is, how to penetrate far enough into the interior to 
free them. Possibly it remains for our regiment to solve this problem. 
Give us a good gunboat and plenty of ammunition to help us into the 
midst of them and I think we may trust God and our determination for 
the result. 1 

Camp Saxton, Beaufort, S. C, 

February 3, 1863. 

At break of day we were at Beaufort and my sick and wounded 
were being carefully conveyed to the " Contraband Hospital " for bet- 
ter care than our camp hospital affords. I left eight there and it 
seemed like leaving my children among strangers. But this was only a 
feeling, not a fact. It was very pleasant to have the black soldiers 
served first when wounded. Colonel [Rish worth] Rich and the other 
officers and soldiers, must wait the convenience of our freedmen. I 
should quite enjoy living in some one of our Northern cities a few 
months with the 1st S. C. Vols. I fancy there would be a conquer- 
ing of prejudices somewhat satisfactory to your humble servant. Jus- 
tice is an admirable machine when in good running order and with 
honest engineers to keep it going. 

The Colonel took his official report in one hand and a captured 
instrument of slave torture in the other, to Gen. Saxton and left them 
for an early inspection. I was too busy to breakfast there with the 
Colonel. At ten o'clock we were disembarking opposite our camp and 
the home troops were receiving us with wild cheers of joy. All sorts 
of false rumors had been reported concerning us. We had been cut up 
and cut down, hung and cut to pieces, and various other rebel morsels 
of information had been circulated. I trust that you have not been 
tormented by such rumors. Perhaps it is best for me to take this 
occasion to say that the rebel reports are not always so reliable as 
their personal sympathizers could wish. Believe nothing short of 
official reports and — my letters. 

February 5. 
Lieut. [James B.] O'Neil informed me today that during the eight years 
of his military life in Texas, Utah and in the present war, he had uever 
been engaged in anything half so daring as our trip up the St. Mary's 

1 Colonel Iligginson's report of this expedition up St. Mary's River is in 
1 Records of the Rebellion, xiv. 195. 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETH ROGERS, 1862, 1863. 857 

River. He is one of our best officers and has seen much service. . . . 
I would very much like to go to Alberti's Mills again, with flat-boats 
enough to bring away lumber etc. and then set fire to what we could not 
take. There is not enough rebel force in that neighborhood to capture 
us. If they should block the passage by felling trees across the river, 
our boys would have the opportunity to do what they so much crave, — 
meet their old masters in " de cl'ar field." They besought me over and 
over, to ask " de Gunnel to let we spill out on de sho' [shore] an' meet 
detn fellers in de brush." There would have been bushwhacking of a 
startling nature and I have no doubt we could have brought off some 
of those cavalry horses hitched in the rear. But the Colonel is pretty 
economical of human life when no great object is at stake. 

I have noticed that twenty eight boxes of goods await my order at 
Hilton Head and that the Flora will bring them up and land them at 
our camp, if I wish. This looks as if the day of honoring requisitions 
in this department had arrived. Meanwhile, during my absence, my 
requisition on the Purveyor in New York was honored, and I found 
eighteen boxes of the very best material awaiting my return. The 
Soldiers Relief Association of Norwich, Ct. has shipped a goodly sup- 
ply of bedding, towels, flannel shirts etc. to us. These things were offered 
by Miss G. — the very efficient agent. Gen. Saxton has given me the 
upper part of the Smith mansion for another hospital, so we shall have 
twenty-four beds as comfortably arranged and as well cared for as any 
in the department. . . . 

Robert Sutton has quite recovered from his wounds. He told me that 
the flesh was healthy, and I have found it so and the bone did not get 
involved. I never look at Robert Sutton without feeling certain that 
his father must have been a great Nubian king. I have rarely rev- 
erenced a man more than I do him. His manners are exceedingly 
simple, unaffected and dignified, without the slightest touch of haughti- 
ness. Voice, low, soft and flooding, as if his thoughts were choking 
him. He is tall straight and brawny muscled. His face is all of Africa 
in feeling and in control of expression. By this I do not mean cun- 
ning, but manly control. He seems to me kingly, and oh ! I wish he 
could read and write. He ought to be a leader, a general, instead of a 
corporal. I fancy he is like Toussaint l'Ouverture and it would not sur- 
prise me if some great occasion should make him a deliverer of hie people 
from bondage. Prince Rivers, — just as black as Robert Sutton, has 
a peculiar fineness of texture of skin that gives the most cleanly look. 
He is agile and fleet, like a deer, in his speed and like a panther in his 
tread. His features are not very African and his eye is so bright that 
it must "shine at night, when de moon am gone away." His manners 
are not surpassed on this globe. I feel my awkwardness w hen 1 meet 
him. This because an officer ought to be as polite as a soldier. 


February 6, 1863. 

We are just now through with the hardest and coldest north east storm 
that we have had since I came to the Department of the South. Living 
through this is evidence of considerable constitution. The storm politely 
waited for us to finish an expedition but the two together have succeeded 
in running our sick list up to 129 in today's report. This morning a 
poor fellow died of congestion of the lungs, before the surgeon saw him. 
In this case, as in nearly all the autopsies I have made I find extensive 
adhesions which have resulted from former pleurisy. There are, at this 
moment, not less than a dozen severe cases of pleuro-pneuraonia among 
our sick. I find it true that these people are more subject than the 
whites to pulmonary diseases. And here I must put a fact of dispraise 
to the colored people as I find them. They, as a rule, show remarkable 
indifference to the sufferings of those not immediately related by the 
ties of consanguinity. I do not believe this to be a want of affection in 
the race, but due to long influence of inhuman teaching and treatment. 
I believe the development of individual responsibility and the inducement 
to rise, will abolish this want of feeling and respect for each other. 

February 7, 1863. 

. . . Emerson and Thoreau are oftener in my mind, in connection with 
this camp life and these people, than any other writers I know. While 
I am constantly studying how to keep these men well, or to alleviate their 
sufferings, they as constantly fill me with something higher than a feel- 
ing of philanthropy, a sort of oriental sympathy, outreaching the wants 
of the body. Gen. Saxton has said that these people are " intensely 
human," and I will add that I find them intensely divine. It is, how- 
ever, more difficult to call out the divine than the human. The blessings 
resulting from freedom will wash away the accursed stains of slavery and 
all the world will see that these are also children of God. They have 
a boundless conception of the divine spirit and an intense trust in the 
fatherhood of God. ... It is true, they will commit almost as many 
sins as their white neighbors, but I am speaking now of the religious 
element and leaving the moral to be controlled by culture. . . . 

Keeping our men below so long on the John Adams destroyed more 
lives than the rifle shots would have done. It seemed a choice of evils 
and the least apparent was chosen. But the return of sunshine will 
help restore the sick. 

St. Helena Island, February 9, 1863. 

Yesterday afternoon T put my new saddle and bridle on the long-legged 

horse, claimed by the Colonel and Adjutant, and came over here to 

spend the night at the house of the Hunn's and Miss Forten. This 

is the first night I have slept in a house since the 18th day of Decern- 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETH ROGERS, 1802, 1863. 359 

ber. It seems strange to find myself in the midst of civilization and 
buckwheat cakes. . . . Just before leaving camp, I read Mr. Emerson's 
" Boston Hymn," to our regiment, while assembled for divine worship. 
I prefaced it with the remark that many white folks could not understand 
the poems of Mr. Emerson, but I had no apprehensions of that kind 
from those before me. It was enough that Robert Sutton's eyes were 
glistening before me as I read. I was standing on the veranda of the 
plantation house and the men were under a beautiful magnolia tree 
toward the river. Mr. Emerson would have trembled with joy to see 
how much these dark colored meu drank in the religion of his poem. 
The chaplain was filled with emotion by it and straightway took 
the poem for his text and when I left, was enthusiastically speaking 
from it. 

Camp Saxton, Beaufort, February 8, 1863. 
... I feel that it was a little cowardly in me to run away from camp 
yesterday, but I knew that three of our good soldiers must die within a 
few hours and I could do no more for them. It is just impossible for 
me to get used to losing patients. Such death is equivalent to losing 
some vital part of one's self. This comes from distrust of myself, rather 
than of God. Our sick list is rapidly lessening and all will soon be as 
usual. I have this afternoon conversed with a pro-slavery surgeon, who 
has had much to do with negroes. I thought he seemed rather pleased 
in making the statement that their power of endurance was not equal 
to that of the whites. I nevertheless gathered valuable information and 
hints relative to their treatment. If I am permitted to remain in this 
regiment a year I shall prove that, while the blacks are subject to quite 
different diseases from those of the whites, the mortality among them 
will average less and the available strength or efficiency will average 
more. This is the season for white soldiers to be well and blacks to 
be ill. . . . 

February 10. 
No day so thoroughly spring-like as this, yiet I feel we are to miss the 
unlocking delight we realize in the New England transition from winter 
to summer. The bugs and birds and frogs seem to realize the change, 
but they know their own and are grateful for the smallest favors. 1 
miss the melting snow at noon and the crunching crystals at night and 
morning. My eyes are not dazzled by the pure splendor as the days 
lengthen. The cawing crow Hies back and forth, but lie does not seem 
so earnest, so put to his trumps as those thai fly above Wigwam 
Hill [at Worcester, Mass.] when Long Pond is all leaden, and weeks 
of sunshine and rain must come to free the ice-bound waters. The 
shores of our river here are covered with nourishing things, and the 


tides make high and low for the benefit of lazy lives, but I do not see 
the use of living on such easy terms. Sometimes it seems to me like a 
funny experiment to try the merits of the body in this land of ease, and 
of the soul in a less genial clime. How long the experiment is to last 
the Lord only knows, but 1 am devotedly thankful that my place of 
nativity is among the cold mountains of Vermont. I do not believe it 
is possible for a New England type of man to originate in this level 
land. I shall as soon expect to find alligators in Charles River, or 
turkey buzzards among the Adirondacks. This reminds me that on my 
way through the pine woods yesterday, I ran one of these southern birds 
down. He had probably eaten so much that he could not fly. I easily 
captured him and brought him into camp for James to prepare for the 
rooms of the Natural History Society of Worcester. Can you imagine 
me galloping across the plains and through the woods with this South 
Carolinian specime'n in my arms? I was thankful the long-legged horse 
did not have a fit of ugliness as he did the day before. 

Before the countersign was given, to-night, the Captain [Rogers] and 
I went out to see a sick soldier at Battery plantation. It was much more 
convenient to enter the lines at the guard-house, when we returned, than 
to go to the ordinary entrance. We were challenged in the dark by, 
"Who come dar." "A friend of the guard: call a corporal of the 
guard to let us in." " Halt, halt," at the same time cocking his musket. 
We, of course halted and asked if his gun was loaded. This raised his 
suspicion and his gun at the same time and he again demanded, " Who 
dar?" I said, "The surgeon and Capt. Rogers." "I don' know any 
Sur John : " and I began to think he might fire upon us before the 
corporal came, so I told him the doctor and the captain. This lessened 
his apprehensions. I believe it would surely be fatal for any one to 
attempt to get by the guard here at night. To our soldiers, this war 
is not play, they intend to obey orders. 

February 11. 
... It is to be remembered that the officers of a regiment in which 
the privates do not read and write, have much to do that would other- 
wise be done by an orderly or by a private detailed for the purpose. 
Today I have planned a new hospital and begun to lay the foundation of 
the first ward. This looks a little like having a brigade here sometime. 
We have a charming spot near the river, for hospital buildings. I shall 
have only sixteen patients in a ward. Each ward is to be a separate 
building 20 X 50 feet, containing two fire-places. From morning till 
evening, all through the summer, a breeze comes up the river and 
my wards shall be blessed by it. What a relief it would be to have 
Stephen Karle [of Worcester] take charge of this, but it is all to be 
very simple and our efficient chaplain takes almost all of it on his hands. 

1010.] LBTTEB8 OF OK. SKI 1 1 B0GBB8, 


Tonight the tree toadi sing In the adjoining . 
are everywhere. The « 1 ; i v h is been like one in mid 
Bliowera are expected in tl"- afternoon and do not •■ >n 
i 1 1 •_- is cooler. The Colonel ;in<l i walked oof -i litl 
grove, where alligators might thrive, and where they t ♦ - 1 1 of fi 
The trees are large, like oaks and have similar tasa I- 
catkins, bul the bole is broad at base and tapers rapi llj ., 
feet in a beautiful compouud column and then b i 

All around under these trees are the cypress kneei 
inches in height and looking preciously like cloaked and 
in prayer. The resemblance was so marked that I besil 
the silence of the place. . . . 

Tonight I chanced to get into conversation with Serg*! II. M I 
of Co. G., a soldier whose appearance al way s interested me. 11' 
native of Palatka, Fla., was born on the plantation of old G 
[William I).| Bloseley, and was always treated kindly by him. 
our gun-boats went up the St. John's, thi S< 
master, who was much suspected of Union sentiments, bj I 
and begged him to come off under protection of our flag. B it, I 
to start him, Mel n tyre informed the old man of his ii him- 

self and take with him his parents and Bisters; that it h< 
be Bure of having the old Governor for a master he loved him - i much 
that he would rather stick by him. The Governor much 
leaving him, but, knowiug that hi^ children would not treat them 
had done, he interposed no obstacles. All but the mi 
"brought up" the Governor's daughters, came away. I have w 
the above as a preface to the reasons of this man's g si tud 

By the Governor he was always treated kindly. Bi ti ^ ; 
builder, and his master allowed him, for eight 
trade where he pleased, l>y paying him (the master I 
lie hired six other Blaves from their masters, at various i 
to their ability, and went oil to Bdicanopy which was not much 
place at that time and within eight years the) had built ii] 
town." Twice a year he was obliged to go back to Palatka 
to pay the masters for their kindness in allowing tl 
and board themselves, and furnish their own tools, and bi ng 

$150.00 to $360.00 per year per man, in return 1 

honest fellow does not fullj realise the outrage. It a 

them to escape the constant restraints of bondage that I I ihe 

rest, Man\ o\ the houses were built l>v contra. 

and if the chi\ alr\ h id paid him a!\\ a\ - as agreed, he - 

about $550.00 per year, As It was, he was onli i i 



when the war began, and he was suspected of giving information about 
the " Yankees" to the slaves, and he was compelled to leave his wife 
aud two children at Micanopy. The first man to appear against him 
on a sort of trial for such suspicion was one for whom he had just built 
a home and received nothing for it. Should we ever go up the St. John's 
river into the heart of Florida, this Sergeant will be a valuable guide. 
He has sisters at Beaufort aud at Feruandina who have paid their masters 
fourteen dollars per month year after year, and supported themselves 
by washing and ironing. 

February 13, 1863. 

Tonight I have been talking with Cato Waring, one of my old nurses 
in the hospital. The attempt to give a report of his history seems futile. 
He is a quiet old black man, this Cato, with singular combination of 
intellect and ready shrewdness, a subtlety of character that makes you 
feel as if a serpent might silently coil around you at any moment, without 
the rustle of a leaf. He appears dull and heavy, but is full of unspent 
sharpness and agility. He is old, but not gray, body and spirit alike 
intact. The night after our return from our expedition, I was telling 
them in the hospital about it and old Cato sat, with his dull eyes bent 
upon the fire, seemingly indifferent to all, till I came to the death of the 
rebel officer in the woods. Then his eyes sparkled and glared at me. 
" Did you know his name ? " " No." " Oh, I hope to God it was my 
young master who went down that way." 

Tonight Cato came to my tent and began very quietly to tell me of 
his life in slavery and his escape from it, but it was not long before his 
tone and manner became too dramatic for me to take notes, and I felt 
as if all the horrors of the accursed system were being poured upon my 
naked nerves. His voice was always low, but commanding. He was 
born on the Santee river and " raised by Mas'r Cooper as a pet." But he 
w 7 as sent away to learn the carpenter's trade, and after seven years ap- 
prenticeship returned home to find his old master was dead and the estate 
involved by mismanagement on the part of the widow and children. 
Finally, he and the other slaves were sold to pay the debts. Dr. 
Waring, his new master, " was a bad man, but not so bad as his wife." 
The Dr.'s family increased rapidly and his expenses were so great that 
Cato was made not only driver, but overseer of the estate, a position he 
held till his escape, a period of sixteen years. Dr. Waring and his wife 
ranked among the affectionate specimens of humanity. "Dey ollus 
kiss wen he go out an wen he come in." Mrs. Waring was a neat 
housewife and made her servants " clean all de brasses an eberyting 
befo' daylight in de mo'nin." When she arose in the morning and ex- 
amined the furniture with her white handkerchief for dust, there were 
usually one or two victims selected for the lash. It was Cato's business 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETH ROGERS, 1862, 1863. 363 

to wait at the door for orders to apply from one hundred to five hun- 
dred lashes every morning before going out to the plantation. Jf the 
victim was male, he was stripped and cords were fastened to his fingers 
and then drawn over a horizontal pole above his head, till his toes only, 
touched the ground ; then the master would stand behind Cato with a 
paddle and knock him over for any delinquency on his part. The same 
treatment was applied to women, except that instead of stripping off the 
clothing, the skirts and chemise were drawn up over the head. When 
the parlor was filled with visitors, the mistress would wind a towel 
around the end of a stick and have it thrust into the throat of the 
victim and it would come out all covered with blood — thus the screams 
of the tortured would be smothered. These statements would seem ex- 
aggerated to me if I had not, over and over, in my medical examinations 
in this regiment, found enormous horizontal scars around the body, and, 
on inquiry, been told " Dat 's what my ole Marsa had me whipped." 
Never once have these revelations come to me except by inquiry. 

Finally, the war began. Old Cato heard the guns of Fort Sumter 
and waited and waited to hear his master speak of it. He and all his 
fellow slaves felt that the hour of deliverance had come. Finally, he 
said one night to his old master, — young Doctor who " had been off 
to some place dey calls Paris," and who was worse than the old man ; 
" What all dat tunder mean way off dar ? " " Oh, it 's the d — d Yankees 
who want to steal all our property." Of course Cato was indignant at the 
Yankees and promised to stand by his master. Time went on and the 
rebels began to doubt their success and at the same time began to swear 
that they would " work de niggers to deat' [death] before the d — d 
Yankees should have them." Cato was compelled to exact tasks of 
the slaves that were before unheard of. He could not do it, and told 
his master so one Sunday night. The Doctor swore vehemently and 
ordered Cato to report himself in the morning for chastisement. Cato 
said " I tanked him berry much for de information an' went to my hat 
an' hung all de keys whar de ole woman could tin' 'em. but did n't tell 
her what Fsegwine to do, cause she'd make such a hullaboo about it." 
But " Sunday mornin' befo' de hen git up," Cato was in a dugout push- 
ing his way through the rice swamp, so that the dogs could not follow 
his trail. He had gone far before daylight, and, during the day, lay 
quietly in his boat. Finally he lost his way and had to leave the 
swamp and his boat, for he had been three days without eating. When 
he unexpectedly met a white lady, he assumed nonchalance, touched his 
hat and said, " hovvdye," and told such a plausible story that he got 
something to eat. At another time he went tour days without eating 
and in the evening saw a black man nailing up a coon -skin by torch- 
light on the side of a hut. " Dis big ole man look like a religion 
feller," and Cato was almost on the point of trusting him enough to go 




up and a>k for food, but finally thought it safer to wait a little and try 
to Bteal something. He had just entered the yard when a great dog 
caught him by the chest, but, fortunately, got only his clothing in his 
mouth. His hickory cane silenced that dog, but others came, "an' all 
de blacks an' whites came down togedder." He ran to the woods and 
found a pond and waded half the night to escape the dogs. " I did n't 
git iiuifin for eat, but I was n't hungry no mo' that night." 

At last he found shelter and food and rest under the roof of a negro 
whom he could trust. He was then twenty-two miles from the river 
and in the night a black horseman came and said a Yankee gunboat was 
u comin' up de ribber, an' de Cap'n was holdin' out his arms an' 
beck'nin' de niggahs fus' from one sho' an' den from de odder."' 
Cato straightway started toward the river, but there were many roads. 
The horseman agreed to break off pine boughs and drop one in the 
right path at the parting of the ways. All during the dark night Cato 
would get on his hands and knees to find the boughs at such partings 
and then go on rejoicing. By some mistake he did not reach the river 
at the point designated, and afterwards learned that his mistake had 
saved him from a trap of the rebels for whom the black horseman was 

Another night he was lying under a garden fence when a rebel was 
leaning over it, watching, intently, the house beyond, ready to shoot 
him when he should jump from a window. '"My heart did beat so 
hard I wondered he didn't hear it, but he didn't an' wen dey come to 
sarch de garden, I crawl on my belly till I jump troo de gate an' it 
rain so fass I knowed deyre guns wouldn't go wen dey snapped em at 
me." At last after wandering about " from de secon' week in May till 
de las' week in June I reach de gunboat." His approach to the boat 
was full of apprehension. Before he could be certain of the boat, he 
saw soldiers on the shore and did not quite know whether they were 
Yankees or rebels. So he wavered between holding up his "white 
rag" and keeping out of sight. At last they saw him in his little boat, 
which he had somewhere confiscated, and "I hoi' up de rag an' de mo' 
de boat come, de mo' I draw back, but oh, wen I git on de boat I 
thought I was in hebben." 

I shall not trouble you with more slave stories. It is too much like 
trying to relate a tragedy acted by Rachel — very tame. 

February 16, 1863. 
Our Colonel [General] has been down to Hilton Head today and 
reported Brig. Gen. Stephenson under arrest and to be sent to Wash- 
ington for asserting that he would rather the Union cause should be 
lost than be saved by black soldiers. I should like to see the gentle- 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETH ROGERS, 1802, 1863. 365 

man this evening. Everything may go against us in the present, but 
these little episodes are refreshing. 1 

My heart is lightened by the return of usual health to our camp. It 
is pleasant to find every one looking up instead of down. Some of the 
replies to medical questions are quite unique, as, for instance, "I feel 
jail-bound an' cough powerful." " I've got misery all de way down 
from de top ob de head to de sole ob de foot." 

If I had not promised you freedom from individual histories in the 
future, I should try to write out the history of my head hospital nurse. 
Mr. Spaulding is a very superior man. He was kept in the stocks three 
weeks in the winter and his legs have not since been as strong as before. 
He is averse to speaking of himself. I trust his integrity, tenderness 
and natural ability as I would trust those qualities in John Milton Earle. 
He is a prince in the department and commands the respect of all. 

February 17, 1863, Evening. 
Today I have been reading Judge Conway's 2 speech in Congress. I 
have found no leisure to watch carefully the reported change in public 
opinion in the North. I did not believe till today, that our friend- are 
actually getting hopeless about the restoration of the Union on the 
basis of universal freedom. Judge Conway's opinion I respect, and in 
this instance it weighs like lead upon my spirits. Besides, I somehow 
feel that the sentiments of a majority of the friends of freedom are 
too nearly represented in this speech. If so, nothing short of a mir- 
acle can bring the present generation of slaves into freedom. This 
thought makes me tremble when I look into the faces of our brave fel- 
lows and remember what millions of such are waiting in bondage for 
an opportunity to be as brave. The contemptible love of dominion so 
long fostered in this nation will yet be the death of it. Of course a 
better nation will grow out of the mouldering ruins, but it is cruel that 
the present good of a nation and a race should be sacrificed on the altar 
of selfishness. These men have wives and children, brothers and 
sisters, fathers and mothers yet in slavery and they daily pray God to 
bless the nation that has begun to let them tight for freedom. If the 
nation proves false to this half realized hope the curse of God will 
weigh more heavily on us than ever before. I would rather make my 
grave with the oppressed and outraged than survive the day ot' their 
blighted anticipations. As God lives, liberty will come at last, but 1 
long to see her before I die. 

1 The incident is mentioned in " Letters from Tort Royal, written at the Time 
of the Civil War," edited by Elizabeth Ware Pearson. 168. 

2 Martin F. Conway, elected from Kansas to the thirty-seventh Congress. His 
speech on "The War " is printed in the " Congressional Globe," 3d Sess., ->7t h 

Cong., appendix, 62. It was reprinted in the " Boston Commonwealth " on Feb- 
ruary 14, 1863. 


February 18, Evening. 
. . . We now have the medical department of our regiment so syste- 
matized that I find more freedom from care than a few weeks ago. The 
prospect of a change of location leaves my new hospital in statu quo. 

February 20, Evening. 

Yesterday I visited Miss Murray's school on St. Helena Island. 
Miss Murray is assisted by Miss Towne and Miss Foster. Since the 
season for tilling the land has begun, the school has lessened in numbers 
from 200 to 125 : both sexes and from three to fifteen years of age. 
Many of them have been under tuition several months and compare 
very favorably with Irish children after the same length of instruction, as 
I have seen them in N. E. From what I have seen in camp, I think the 
mode of receiving instruction is very different in the two races. Imita- 
tion and musical concert are the avenues to the minds of these children. 
Of course the habit of such dependence will be changed by education, 
but such is the beginning. After centuries of slavery, which utterly 
shut the avenues of thought, we should hardly expect rapid develop- 
ment of activity in the superior regions of thought. Only now and 
then, some genius, like Robert Sutton, can be left to prove the God-like 
relation. The simple fact is that use is less distructive than disuse. 

I dined at Friend Hunn's and was accompanied by Miss Forten on a 
visit to Mr. Thorpe, who has charge of the Tripp plantation. " Edisto " 
[is] a meagre little confiscated creature from Edisto Island, with a 
saddle that must have been afloat since the flood ; a bridle that left him 
comparatively unbridled and erratic in his ways, and a girth that could 
never gird his loins up to the scriptural injunction without breaking. 
He had neither sandals nor shoes to his feet nor speed to his body. 
You can imagine that our ride of four miles through the pine barrens 
was not so rapid as John Gilpin's. But the afternoon was like the 
last of June and full of sunshine and jasmine blossoms and the ground 
was covered with brown pine needles. I have seen none but the pitch 
pine here. The needles are often a foot long and now that they are en- 
livened by steady warmth, they sport graceful plumes against the sky. 

But I have made my last visit to St. Helena Island The fortunes of 
war uproot too suddenly, for my fancy, all the little fibres of local at- 
tachment just as they begin to take kindly to the soil. I have just got 
everything in good attitude towards my new hospital when all is to be 
abandoned and we are to pitch our tents (if the rebels permit) in another 
state. Being exactly what I want, I do not grumble at the fact. 

February 24, 1863. 
Colonel [James] Montgomery's arrival from Key West, with the 
nucleus of the Second S. C. Vols, is an event of importance to our life 


hen: and also to the history of the war. I bai 

declare that be regarded Col. Montgomery alone - equal to 

ment. I have rarelj heard our Colonel 

anyone. I have already discovered the t. ' • 

pied my tent, last night, and before I turned in with ■ 

him talk enough to feel sure of his indomitable 

rare verity which belongs only to inborn gentlemen. A 

on slightly rounded shoulders, a tall form of ilendei I 

face, <!<•<•]> brown and slight!) curling hair, a B 

and moustache, :i Bmallish, determined mouth and 

hazel eyes of destiny, all form a combination ol 

belonging to a man who has tough! manj battl< 

He once drove fourteen thousand with four hundred. II 

live rebel prisoners Bhot to avenge the death of five ol 

were taken prisoners and Bhot by the rebels. !!• a I nit the 

blasphemy of the oath of allegiance to the remaining ten, b I them 

hack to their rebel brethreu with the information tl 

prisoners and thai thereafter he Bhould not 1"- content with li 

but ten for one if they persisted in their hellish caret which 

they had begun. This man seems to me one of th< 

of destiny. lie is not one of the bIow, calculating sort, bul 

harmony with the elements around him, he counsels with 

and trusts his intuitions more than his calculations. 

This afternoon our regiment was reviewed by Gen, Sa 
presence of Gen. Hunter. The staff and bod} guards I 
erals made about a hundred horsemen. I quite enjoj 
as they gallopped into camp and thought how much m 
cavalry regiment must be than infantry In th< 
drill our boys were ordered to make i cfa u 
belieVe that it' the Col, had not been in front, the ord< r •* Ha 
have passed unheeded till the cavalry had 

All this evening I have been Bqueeiing Kansas I 

Montgomery . a history \\ ith which h<> himself is bo o ra ; 
that I have really been listening to ■ wonderful aui 
M, is a born pioneer, Ashtabula County, Ohio, 
Forty-nine years ago, Joshua R. Giddings and 1- i ^ 
men and Montgomery in his boyhood n • 
earl^ pleadings at the bar. So you see hon b rth 
ings fitted him tor i fiercer frontier life. N« »■! 
beside the lusty life born on the frontier* Of the I 
dren two of his ions are to hold oommiasioni in I - 

are yOUUg hut as M the\ don't knew the tin .e. 


slavery he is sure they will get on. In medicine he has a weakness for 
pellets instead of pills. It is humiliating that our two strong colonels 
should exhibit such weak points. So long as we remain in good health 
I don't know but this foible of homoeopathy is as harmless as any of 
the popular vagaries. . . . 

Yesterday Mingo Leighton died. Many weeks ago, I saw him step 
out of the ranks one day when upon the double-quick and discovered that 
he had slight disease of the heart. He was a noble fellow, black as 
midnight, who had suffered in the stocks and under the lash of a savage 
master, and did not accept any offer of discharge papers. Later he real- 
ized some of his hopes up the St. Mary's, so that he was very quiet 
under his fatal congestion of the lungs. He was ill but a few hours 
and was very calm when he told me on my first visit that his work was 
finished. He never gave me his history, though he regarded me as his 
friend, but one of his comrades confirmed my convictions of his worth. 
This same comrade, John Quincy, a good old man, who for eight years, 
paid his master twenty dollars per month for his time and eight dollars 
per month apiece for mules, and boarded himself and animals, — this 
man told me that Mingo was deeply religious, but said little about it, 
and that lie himself had been " trabblin by dis truth sometin' like twenty- 
five year." I have rarely met a man whose trust in God has seemed 
to me more immediate and constant. 

February 26. 

Our visitors increase and I shall not be sorry when we are beyond 
the reach of those who " doubt the propriety " of arming the negroes. 
There is but one convincing argument and I don't care how soon it 
comes. I am sick of talking to men whose limited capacity renders it 
necessary for me to explain that humanity lies somewhat deeper than 
the integument of the human body. 

February 28. 

I keep a blazing fire in my tent about half the time, these hot, humid 
days, to keep myself from moulding alive. It requires a high pressure 
of vitality to push off these damps as they crowd in upon me here. 
Yet I have found only three cases of tubercular disease among our 
soldiers. Considering the fact that they were recruited without much 
regard to physical ability, I think this freedom from scrofulous disease 

March 2, Evening. 

John Quincy (Co. G) came and asked me today if I would " send 
up North " for a pair of spectacles for him, " for common eyes of 60." 
The old man said he " could not live long enough to make much account 
of them," but that he "could read right smart places in the Testa- 

1010.] LETTERS OF DR. 8ETB ROGERS, 1862 

ment," and since he lias lo.^t Ins spectacles be missed it. I 

same soldier who told his congregation on the Ben Defot . I er our 

St. Mary's trip, that lie saw the Colonel with hi-, shoulder at I • 

of the big gun in the midst of the firing, and that M when de shell 

out it was de scream ob de great .Jehovah to de rebels." What i 

this statement the more; interesting to mewas the fact thai J '••• a- -land- 
ing in the background with the Colonel at the time, and John Quincy 
did not know of our presence. 

We are now weeding our regiment a little, and today I hfl 
ined about a hundred and discharged thirty for disability. I find one 
poor fellow whose mind is \itvy torpid, though he i- not idiotic. A 
companion of his told me that he had been overworked in tb< 
rice swamps and that "he be chilly minded, not brave and expe li 
like me." I believe I have somewhere written that our men 
not subjected to examination by a surgeon before enlisting, b 
disagreeable business of discharging now. It is much easier to keep 
men. out of a regiment than to get them out when once in. 

March 3. 

The plot thickens. Our steamers are coaling up and the 31 
ammunition are going aboard. This looks southward and befon 
letter reaches you we shall probably be up some river. I hope not the 
one spoken of on the streets. Today Dr. M. M. Marsh <>t tie' l". S. 
Sanitary Commission has made his official visit and dined with m< I 
suppose I care the more for Dr. Marsh that he is not onh a gentle- 
man, and a physician whom I greatly respect, but also that becomes 
from the capital of my own native state. IK' is an elderly man with 
a countenance all covered with benignity. Tin' following note to me 
from his agent at Beaufort, Mr. II. G. Spaulding, — in: 
right spirit toward our movement. 

ki If you are in want of any hospital or sanitary BUpplies for vour 
regiment, we shall be most happy to till out a requisition for 
Send lor whatever you need and state in every Case the amount 
wanted. This is all the 'red tape' oi' our Commission, and th< r 

no knots in it. In view ol' your unexpected movement 1 
opportunity o( assuring you ol' our desire to a-sist you in ever) W 
our power." 

Of course Di - . Minor was posted off with a requisition and our 

soldiers shall bless the Commission. 

Last night our men seemed bewitched. A tew I i\ : ird to b 
dance at the old "Battery plantation." Ye:v earl\ in the 
poor fellow refused to halt, when ordered to do BO b\ :':.. 
has lost his lite i'ov it. lie \v;is shot through the side Rud Will die 
within a tew days. 



Steam kk Boston, March 6. 
Yesterday, at four p. M. the last tent was struck and we began to 
move down the river at eight this evening. 1 Like our other expe- 
dition, we have three steamers, — the Boston, Burnside and John 
Adams. Col. Montgomery with his men and Co. A (Capt. Trow- 
bridge), of our regiment, started last evening on the Burnside. Our 
Lt. Col. [Liberty] Billings with Co. B (Capt. James) and Co. C (Capt. 
Randolph) on the John Adams. Col. Higginson and Major [J. D.] 
Strong with the other seven companies of our regiment, on the Flag 
Ship Boston. I have left Dr. Hawks behind to care for the sick in 
the hospital, and placed Dr. Minor on the Adams. With me are the 
hospital steward and my trusty nurse, Mr. Spaulding. You may 
easily imagine there is not much lee-way on this steamer, calculated to 
carry less than four hundred. Besides we are blockaded at every turn 
by camp equipage, horses, army wagons etc. But the weather is 
perfect and the line officers cheerfully co-operate in keeping their men 
where I want them. . . . 

Steamer Boston Mouth of St. John's River, 

March 8, 1863. 

"Waiting, waiting, waiting, with thermometer at 80° F. this bright 
Sunday. Great sandbanks like snow, atmosphere shimmering in the 
hot sunlight, while the young, tender foliage softens the landscape into 

At daylight this morning we left Fernandina and arrived off the bar 
at the mouth of this river at 9.30 a. m. The gunboat Uncas came off 
to meet us and considerably before noon we were anchored in here 
with the Uncas, the Norwich and our transport, the Burnside. Why 
the John Adams has not reached here, we cannot imagine. This delay 
warns the rebs of our approach to Jacksonville and, if they choose to 
dispute our landing, I do not see why some lives may not be lost. 
James [Capt. Rogers] and I have been ashore this afternoon and have 
seen various wild flowers unfamiliar to us. The Colonel is deep in 
consultation with gunboat captains, and a steady frown indicates his 
impatience and perplexity about the John Adams. Rough and ready 
Capt. Dolly remarked when we passed her, that he was d — d if he 
didn't admire the Lt. Col. because he was always to be found just 
where we left him. His theory however about the non-arrival of the 
Adams is that the chaplain has gone for the last well to be dug. 
Wells are one of the chaplain's specialties and it would not be sur- 
prising if the theory proved correct. To me the worst feature of the 
delay is the exposure of our men to disease. I dread confinement in 
close air for them much more than I do rebel bullets. 
1 To reoccupy Jacksonville. 

1910.] LETTERS OF DR. SETII ROGERS, 1802, 1803. 371 

Yesterday I heard of a little coincidence which quite amused me. 
One of our captains is not so broad and catholic as Theodore Parker, 
and very constantly manifests a jealous nature by petty complaints and 
watch ings for evil. Yesterday morning he was speaking to me of the 
Colonel and remarked that the only fault he could find with him was a 
lack of discipline, that the men ought not to be allowed to insult their 
officers without severe punishment. I replied that I did not know of 
an officer in the regiment who was obliged to cross the track of the 
men so much as I, and yet, without any specific control over any but 
those in the hospital department, I never dreamed of being insulted 
and that if I were, I should feel that the fault were mine. This 
captain happened to be the officer of the day and, towards evening, 
I noticed that he was looking very demure and that he was minus his 
sash. On inquiry I found he had permitted some slight improprieties 
among the men and that the Colonel promptly put another officer in his 
place. I have not heard of a better disciplinarian than Col. II. and I 
doubt not Capt. is getting convinced on the same point. 

Just now I found one of our men in a collapsed state, which will 
prove fatal. 

March 7. 

This morning, at ten, the John Adams hove in sight. The officers 
report fog so dense as to prevent running her over the bar at Fernan- 
dina. If the rebels are not duller thau I think them, we shall suffer 
for this most annoying delay. . . . 

The poor fellow whom I mentioned yesterday, died this morning. 
Were our men obliged to sleep aboard a few nights more, such deaths 
would be frequent. Yet I have everything done to prevent disease 
that, under the circumstances, can be done. Yesterday 1 found several 
ill on the Bumside, including Col. Montgomery and one of our best 
artillerists. Today all are in good condition and anticipating a light. 

Headquarters, 1st S. 0. Vols., Jackson vn i i . Fi v. 

March 12, 186S.* 

For once T have been so busy that T could not find time to note the 
thousand and one incidents of our expedition. 

Tuesday morning, at two, our licet oi' live steamers moved slowly up 
the St. Johns. Passed the yellow bluffs, tin 1 night glorious in i:> 'nine. 
misty moonlight, the river wide and beautiful. When daylight came 
we were delighted by the scenery of the shores ami the cosy looking 
homes scattered here and there. 

1 The report of Brigadier General Joseph Finegan, dated March 14, gives the 
Confederate account. Saxton's report was brief. — 1 Records of the Rebellion, 
xiv. 226. 


Strange as it may seem, the rebels were taken In surprise and the city 
was neither defended nor burned, and we landed without a gun being 
fired. One man came down to the wharf and caught the line when it 
was thrown off and the Col. was the first to step on shore. Then 
followed Capt. Metcalf and Capt. Rogers with their men and soon 
other companies followed, till pickets were posted in the suburbs. 
Meanwhile, Col. Montgomery and Capt. Trowbridge with their men, 
started off in the direction of the rebel camp. The John Adams, 
Boston and Burnside remain at the wharves, while the Uncas and the 
Norwich lie out in the stream. 

We expect to hold this city, though I don't see how it is to be done 
without reinforcements. Our men will do almost anything, but I 
don't believe they can do so much picket service without exhaustion. 
Skirmishing is intensely exciting and they enjoy it beyond measure. 
Yesterday they brought in a saddle and some instruments that belonged 
to a surgeon of the cavalry, who was shot through the head. At every 
fight our boys have put the rebels to flight, though they have twice 
made the attack with forces superior to ours. 

The rebel camp is eight miles out. It is not easy for us to know 
their exact force. Under the protection of gunboats, we are safe, but 
we hope, ere long, to be safe under our own protection. Many of our 
men were slaves here, not long ago and you can scarcely imagine the 
horror and dread the secesh have of them. We have a few important 
prisoners, one of whom was a lieut. in the U. S. army and afterward in 
the Confederate army. 

Capt. Rogers is provost marshal and has his powers taxed consider- 
ably. He likes his work exceedingly and does it well. He rides 
a little secesh pony which he captured the first morning here. I am 
sick of " loyal slaveholders," and would*not resort to the blasphemy of 
administering the oath to them. I think we are not doing so much of 
this last as some commanders have done. 

I should judge this to be a town of 4000 inhabitants. It has ex- 
cellent wharves and large brick warehouses more than half a mile in 
length. The town gradually rises from the river, back a third or half 
a mile. Streets and houses have gas fixtures, a New England look to 
everything, streets beautifully shaded by live oaks, now and then a 
Cornus Florida, the ground paved with its white petals, — peach trees 
in full bloom. 

Our headquarters are grand. The new brick house we occupy was 
owned by Col. Sanderson, one of the ablest lawyers in the state and 
one of the most traitorous. He is in Dixie while his family is north. 
I just now asked Serg't Hodges if he knew Sanderson. " Oh yes, I 
was one of the carpenters who worked many a hard day on that fine 


There are probably 100 or 500 people remaining 
thing goes right I shall convert the Washington Hotel 
At present we keep sick and wounded on the John A fa 

This is the only place that I have yet seen in the South tl I 
for ;t residence. It is the most importanl position in I - 
hold. It has already I >< *<:i j twice abandoned by our troops 
mains to be proved whether it. must be abandoned a third tii 

The night was not a very quiet one for our 
cades, Bring enough to keep all on the gut uive, thoug 
wounded on our side and I cannot learn that anybody b 

was found dead on the other Bide. . . . 


A curious incident occurred tliis morning which _ r > a full 

hundred (from both regiments) Bick and wounded to examii 
scribe for ;m<l till oul my prescriptions. The John Ada 
secret, raid up the river at daylight, without notifying Dr. M nor, the 
steward and hospital nurse, who were all Bleeping on the boat, (l 
a good enough joke, but for me not so practical as to make 
a repetition. Tonight our Bick